As spring emerges and the colors and scents dazzle our senses, let us not forget the sounds. In Cricket Song, author and illustrator Anne Hunter, reminds us of the gentle lulling sounds of crickets that symbolize spring breezes blowing into newly opened windows. The book has an elegant poetic form, starting with one child falling asleep to the “krek krek” and leading to another child far away falling asleep to the same sounds. Her airy watercolor and ink illustrations lead us through two stories that then converge as smoothly as the migration of the whales that link them. Filmstrip-like scenes run along the bottom of each page, tracing the second storyline. The reader is challenged to find the subtle differences from page to page. After exploring the natural world outside, Hunter brings us back inside to the snug room of a child falling asleep. It is fun to read a book written and illustrated by the same person, as there is unique a synergy in the way she presents the story that is subtle and mysterious – something she has done before in her Possum series (Possum’s Harvest Moon, Possum and the Peeper, and Possum and the Storm – due out spring 2018). This is certainly a book I would read to my daughters on a spring evening as they drift off to sleep.
Suggested Ages – This story is suited for young listeners ages 3-5, who will enjoy the sounds Hunter uses in her writing as well as her illustrations. The words are sparse and simple enough for early readers to try on their own, assisted by the pictures that tell much of the story.