Written by Lesley Gibbes and illustrated by Judy Watson
Recommended for ages 5-10 years
A terrific non-fiction picture book in the Nature Storybooks series, where we learn about the life cycle of cicadas, while enjoying a delightful story of a young boy and his grandfather, going cicada-watching in the summertime. They have packed all their camping gear into the young boy’s wagon and walk down to Apex Reserve.
The young boy reflects on the different cicadas they found last year: five Green Grocers, three Yellow Mondays and one Floury Baker and that this year they really want to find the rare Black Prince. They missed out on finding a Black Prince last year.
Like other books in the Nature Storybook series, there are two different types of text to differentiate the story, from the facts. This works really well and looks terrific.
Some interesting facts we learn about cicadas are how loud they are, and that when a male cicada sings, it creases its ears so it’s not deafened by its own noise. We also learn that a baby cicada is called a nymph, and once hatched from their eggs, nymphs burrow into the soil and can live underground for as long as 17 years! When a nymph is fully grown, it sheds its outer casing and emerges as an adult cicada with wings.
Lesley Gibbes has written a number of picture books, such as “Scary Night”, illustrated by Stephen Michael King, and she has also written a junior fiction series, “Fizz”, which is also illustrated by Stephen Michael King. Lesley is also a primary school teacher, and lives on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Judy Watson created these illustrations using pencil, brush and ink, and monotype, and then assembled and coloured in Photoshop. Judy has been an illustrator for about 20 years, and she works from a home studio in Frankston South, surrounded by trees, and alongside an overgrown creek. Judy also lives with her husband and two teenage children.
Judy’s favourite part of illustrating this book, was illustrating the endpapers, where she illustrated leaf litter and the natural world beneath our feet. Judy loves endpapers, and she put a lot of time and effort and love into illustrating these. Judy encourages any budding illustrators to try the leaf litter project on her website judywatson.net You will also find other drawing activities on Judy’s website, in relation to this book and others she has illustrated.
Judy has illustrated three other picture books and numerous chapter books, some being Aussie Nibbles and Aussie Bites.