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A 2024 ALA Notable Children's Book

2024 Texas 2×2 List

Chicago Public Library ’s Best of the Best books of 2023

Nominated for a 2023 Cybils Award in the Elementary Nonfiction category

2023 Blueberry Honor Award

Bank Street College

Best Children's Book of 2024


“Euphonic rhyming couplets sing in praise of cicadas alongside details about their life cycle in this vibrant picture book. Beginning pages present purply yellow nymphs waiting underground until they surface and molt. “A newly emerged adult cicada looks almost alien,” describes one straightforward snippet, while rhymes elaborate: “Plump cicada, milky-white,/ gleams and glistens in the light./ Veins turn orange, soon complete./ Blue-black body. Clawlike feet.” Feeding (and being fed on), flying, and mating proceed until the cycle begins anew. The insects’ forms and beady red eyes aptly fill the pages of Lucas’s bold artwork, which bursts with chromatic coloring and geometric layers. Conveying the volume of males’ distinctive songs to the bugs’ innate clumsiness, Fliess informs while maintaining a light, adoring tone that reveals cicadas’ remarkableness. A glossary and author’s note conclude.”

Publishers Weekly, starred review

“From their beginnings as nymphs below ground, this exciting adventure shows the cicada life cycle and I love it! Large text shares a narrative story: “To the surface, up they go. No one tells them. They just know. Gripping tight for one last change. Split. Pop! Wriggle. Looking strange.” Smaller text with informational facts peppers the pages, too. “Cicadas can be as noisy as a lawnmower, motorcycle, or chainsaw.” This impressive book will appeal to all readers and parents."

Imagination Soup's Best Children's Nonfiction Books of 2023

Cicada Symphony
by Sue Fliess
illustrated by Gareth Lucus
Albert Whitman and Company
ISBN-10: 0807511617
ISBN-13: 978-0807511619


Eeee-ooo! Eeee-ooo! Cicadas drone on, clicking and buzzing from dusk till dawn.

There are about three thousand different kinds of cicadas on earth. Some species emerge from the ground every year, while others only come up every thirteen or seventeen years. But no matter how much time passes before they dig their way to the surface, the result is the same: up to trillions of clumsy (but harmless!) insects flying, clicking, and buzzing all around us. Using a combination of rhythmic, rhyming verse and fun facts, this story describes the life cycle of the cicada and helps readers better understand this fascinating insect.

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