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Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  194 ratings  ·  56 reviews
A nonfiction picture book of poetry about fascinating insects with accompanying facts, notes, and illustrations by the Caldecott-winning Melissa Sweet.

Pray tell us, Mr. Mantis,
Do you pray or simply prey?
Do you scout about for victims
Or fold your hands all day?

In addition to the playful rhyming poems, the supplementary text highlights surprising facts about bugs of all ki
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  194 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: read aloud
Three pages of “Cricket Notes” supplement the poems at the end and gives readers more information about bugs featured. Each bug has a poem, and each reflects the rhythm and movement of the bug. For example in “Go, Ants, Go! “the poem has a steady working beat. The rhythm of “Mosquito Bites! “ is like a sting. “Daddy, What Long Legs You Have!” is spindly and wonderfully wacky like a daddy longlegs. There are informational text boxes for each poem that reveal, in this case, that another name for t ...more
Jun 03, 2019 added it
Shelves: children, poetry
A Kansas Notable Book
Fun was for children to hear poetry. Illustrations are great, and so are the fun facts added to each bug poem!
Mar 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Cricket in the Thicket is a collection of poems about bugs. Each poem is short and informative about the insect it features. The author included notes on each page that tell information about the bug in the poem as well as additional notes on each insect in the back of the book. The author uses rhythm, rhyme, and occasionally onomatopoeia to create interest and make the poems engaging to read. The illustrations crafted using watercolor and collage inspired mixed media are unique and add to the i ...more
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-25-stars
4.25 stars I am a big fan of Melissa Sweet, so just with her name on the cover I was all in! I also like the non fiction done in a simple fun way. It is also a simple poetry book!
It has all the elements of a good book!!
Cindy Dobrez
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, nature, 2017-reads
Celebratory poems about bugs of all sorts accompanied by interesting facts about each species. And with Melissa Sweet illustrating, even the cockroach looks friendly. Elementary schools should definitely stock this for their budding entomologists.
Edward Sullivan
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry, nature
Poetic celebrations of insects of all kinds with accompanying informational tidbits and bug-friendly illustrations by Melissa Sweet.
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love Melissa Sweet's work so whenever I see her name on a book, I'm excited to take a look. This is a great book of poetry to use with 1st grade. The language is simple and the poems are fairly short. Some of them rhyme and most of them have a fantastic rhythm that will appeal to younger readers. Each poem by Carol Murray includes a nonfiction interesting fact about the insect and an illustration.

"Ladybug Hug
Everyone loves the ladybug.
She's cute and small and shy,
a bright delightful, friendly
My youngest granddaughter Imogene's kindergarten class studied insects all year. Recently, I've discovered Carol Murray's "Cricket In The Thicket: Poems About Bugs", illustrated by Melissa Sweet. I just had a bit of time to share it with Imi's teacher and copy a couple of poems for the class, wish it had been around all year. Imi came home talking often about insect parts, knew them all, and the differences among the sexes, the work they did, and on. I was impressed, as I am by the creative way ...more
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
What I love most about Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs is that not only is it enjoyable and pleasing to the ears, it is informative too! This picture book is exactly how it sounds. Every page has a poem about a different insect or bug. These poems explain something about the bug in rhyme. For example, the page about the grasshopper explains their body parts. It says their "Hind legs are strong and exceeding long" and "wings let him fly, let him zip through the sky". The rest of the poem ...more
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Cricket in the Thicket was one of the 2018 Notable Poetry Books Selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee. The book is divided into different poems about various bugs and insects. The creatures that the book focuses on are ants, bees, caterpillars, butterflies, and grasshoppers.
The book combines cartoon-like full-page illustrations with rhyming text. The illustrations are colorful and the rhyming schemes are simple with tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary interlaced throu
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thirty brief poems celebrate the wonders of bugs of all sorts and are accompanied by brief but interesting facts about each creature. As always, the illustrations, collages created by the inimitable Melissa Sweet with watercolor and mixed media, enhance the poems, and in this case, make every bug, even the dung beetle, the tick--an engorged one--and the cockroach, seem attractive and even cute. It might be interesting to have youngsters look at these illustrations and then contrast them with ima ...more
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
You may not be able to see them all the time, but you can certainly hear them. Their buzzing, chirping and whining announce their arrival and residence. Others who live in relative silence leave behind their handiwork in the shape of silken webs or sandy hills. It can be said that several of them are the ultimate survivors, their existence noted before the dinosaurs.

Some take wing and fly as soon as we approach. Others, as still as stone, blend in with their surroundings. If we are fortunate eno
Alison T. Johnson
Jan 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cricket in the Thicket is a collection of fun poetry about insects. Upon reading the opening poem, Cricket's Alarm, I could hear that constant chirping you hear when you've managed to get a cricket into your house. The words just bring that notion to life. Each poem is illustrated with Sweet's complex and captivating water color and mixed media for which she is so well known. Along with each poem there is a scientific fact about the insect in focus. This collection would make a wonderful resourc ...more
Seth Schleicher
Title: Cricket in the Thicket
Author: By Carol Murray
Reading Level: V
Book Level: 3.8
Book Summary: These lively poems examine 29 insects and arachnids that are accompanied with mixed-media illustrations. The supporting details of the poems include scientific applications, physiological facts, and historical and cultural relevance.
Bookshelf Mentor Writing Traits

Word Choice:
When starting a poetry unit this book would be a great text to show word choice. While going over the various poems I wou
Sandy Brehl
When it comes to content-specific picture books, this one has it all. The poetry is a delightful mix of rhymed and unrhymed verse utilizing varied forms. Melissa Sweet works her illustration magic on each double spread, shifting perspective, embedding numerous scientific elements within gorgeous and appealing images. The "Cricket Notes" in back matter elaborate (accessibly) on the brief info-box sidebars for each insect poem. Even cockroach and mosquito are equal parts intrigue and yuk-factor, w ...more
Savannah Young
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A book of about thirty poems all dedicated to different bugs. Each bug has a poem, facts, and beautiful illustrations.
I chose this book because it is a great way to learn facts about bugs. The poetry is fun and light. The illustrations are very interesting and there is so much to talk about each bug. More factual information can be found at the back of the book about each bug.
Grades k-3
I would use this book in the classroom to inspire my readers to write their own poetry. They could choose a
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Murray, Carol Cricket in the Thicket, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. Henry Holt (Macmillan), 2017. $18.

Carol has paired charming rhymes with short facts about several of the different bugs that we encounter on almost a daily basis. Sweet’s illustrations are a just-right companion to the text – I tried to imagine this with photographs, but decided I preferred the collage-like illustrations, which would be fun to emulate and have have students write new poems of their own about other bugs.

EL (K-3)
Pamela Hatch
Nov 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry, bugs
Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs / by Carol Murray; illustrated by Melissa Sweet -- New York : Christy Ottaviano Books / Henry Holt and Company, c2017. (40 pages)

SUMMARY: Playful poems highlight surprising facts about the world of insects from familiar ants and exotic dragonflies to cringeworthy ticks and magnificent fireflies. Carol Murray's whimsical verse, together with Melissa Sweet's collage-inspired mixed-media illustrations, beautifully render these dynamic creatures. (bookjacket)
Nov 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
* I received a free review copy of this book from the publisher through my district library services*

4* for the illustrations, 3* for the poems. The poems are cute, and I think younger readers will appreciate them. It would also be fun as a mentor text for writing poetry because some of the poems rhyme, some don't, and among the rhyming poems, there are different rhyme schemes.

As an aside, it always bugs me (no pun intended) when an insect book includes spiders without an explanation, or when it
Cassandra M
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book of poems focuses on short poems that inform readers about different bugs. This is a brightly colored illustrated book that can easily catch a reader’s eye. It would be fun to use when teaching students onomatopoeia, details, facts about bugs, and rhyming. For each poem about a bug there is a small box on the page that includes facts about that bug as well. The “contents” section at the beginning includes a picture of the bug by the title of the poem, which could make it easier for earl ...more
Annette Aas
Dec 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Cricket in the Thicket: Poems about Bugs was a NCTE Notable Poetry Book, a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award Nominee, a Pennsylvania Keystone to Reading Award Masterlist Selection, and a 2018 Kansas Notable book. This book is a collection of poems about insects. The illustrations are large and colorful. The poems are perfect for primary age students. Even though the poems are simple and easy to understand, students still learn informational facts through the poems. This book would be a great mento ...more
Ro Menendez
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
A wonderful mix of free verse and rhyming poetry celebrating the amazing, quirky, funny, and sometimes a little scary, lives of insects, arachnids and even a crustacean (couldn't very well leave out one of the cutest bugs, the roly-poly!) are offered up in this poetry book. The mix-media illustrations are delightful to look at and further explore while finding how they connect with the subject of the poem. Each page includes a small box with an illustration similar to those in zoology books for ...more
Jennifer Miera
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lovely illustrations accompany this lively book about insects and arachnids. Each page focuses on one bug and contains a little fact window with brief facts about that bug. Table of Contents shows a picture of each bug and the page number where you can find it, so young readers can navigate to where they want to read (or be read to). Back matter includes notes on each bug. A lovely book and an interesting introduction into bugs and poetry. Many of the poems are reminiscent of Douglas Florian's p ...more
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm always surprised when I love a poetry book since I usually think poetry is not my thing. The poems in this book are very accessible (they rhyme :)) and ones even preschoolers would greatly enjoy. I love the collage type mixed-media illustrations with clippings from entomology publications and the short, one or two sentence facts about each insect on a page with more short notes in the back. This would be great for a classroom with all sorts of activities imagined when each child picks a bug ...more
Donna Johnson
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it
A collection of short poems about different bugs, with short facts about the insect on each page. The illustrations are very nice and reminded me of scrapbook pages. I did like that it included some bugs that we all probably know but that aren't often seen in books, like the daddy longlegs and roly-poly. If you really like bugs, this would be a great choice for you. Younger readers may find that there are too many poems and their attentions may wander. ...more
Alex Onslow
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it
grade: k-5

I really liked that this book has random facts throughout as little tidbits about what the book is talking about. The poems are quite random and obviously about bugs. The illustrations looks as if perhaps, a fifth grader drew them with pencil and then colored them with colored pencil. I also enjoyed about the book doesn't have a specific or designated format for poems, and changes from page to page, and the poems don't necessarily rhyme.

focus: poems, similes, onomatoepoeia
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
SO fun! The poems were cheerful and funny and definitely written by someone who knows a good deal about bugs. Melissa Sweet's illustrations are delightful! Notes at the bottom of each poem provide more information about the featured insect and there 3 pages of Cricket Notes - additional information about each bug. ...more
Maria Rowe
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’m such a fan of Melissa Sweet! All the illustrations are amazing. I’m not a huge fan of poetry so my eye kept being drawn to the “fun facts” at the bottom of the page, rather than the poems. I like the part at the end with a short synopsis of each bug in the book.

Materials used: watercolor and mixed media
Typeface used: unlisted
Apr 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry
1. N/A
2. Appropriate for grades 1-3.
3. A whole book full of poetry about bugs. From ants, to cicadas, inchworms, and spiders this book has it all! Each page has a poem about a bug along with some fun and colorful pictures. At the bottom on each page is a true fact about the bug in the poem.
4. Most of the poems are short and simple, perfect for younger children. This would be a fun book to use for a poetry lesson in a classroom where children are interested in bugs.
5. This book could be a fun
Becky Ransberger
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s
A fun mix of poetry and fun facts about many different insects. Loved the illustrations. A great mix of art, science, and poetry. Would be too long for a storytime, might be best read in several sessions for little ones.
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