Review Detail

Kids Fiction 133
dark story, suitable for older readers
Overall rating 
 
3.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
4.0
CICADA tells the story of working in a corporate job. Cicada is a good employee who works hard and doesn’t take sick days. He’s been working for 17 years without raises and without resources (since he is not human and that is what human resources are for). He lives in the walls of the building because he cannot afford a place to live. The other workers there bully him. When he takes bathroom breaks, his pay is docked since he is not allowed to use the office bathrooms for humans and must go elsewhere. He is finally retiring at the end of the book.

This is a dark and depressing picture book only suitable for older readers and adults. I would not recommend for young children (though many of the concepts may go over their heads). Cicada is dealing with systemic abuse and treatment as an Other (a theme throughout human history). This has some important correlates for adults and older readers. The ending is unexpected.

What I loved: This book has the potential to spark some really important discussions. The images and illustrations are very artistic and lovely, with muted colors to parallel the depressing tone. A lot is told through the images- more so than through the minimal text, and this is always an engaging way to tell a story.

What left me wanting more: I have concerns about the format, a picture book, which would appeal to younger readers, when the content is not particularly appropriate for preschool/early elementary audiences. In particular (and this may be a spoiler plus warning for suicidality, so be forewarned), the last text reads, “No work. No home. No money. Cicada go to top of tall building. Time to say goodbye. Tok Tok Tok!” What actually ends up happening is that the cicada sheds his shell and becomes a winged bug, flying off the building. Of course, different young readers have different maturity levels, and so, this book could be useful in starting some critical discussions. However, I would definitely recommend to an older audience who can understand more and spark larger discussions.

Final verdict: This dark picture book reflects some depressing themes which can spark some important discussions. It is overall an artistic book with beautiful images that speak to the soul of Cicada and the oppressed. Would recommend for older audiences, pre-teen and above, rather than the usual picture book crowd.
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution...
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In 2001, audiences first met and fell in love with...
On the Come Up
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers...
Spin
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sixteen-year-old Paris Secord's (aka DJ ParSec) career--and life--has come to...
Leah on the Offbeat
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best...
The Brightsiders
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A teen rockstar has to navigate family, love, coming out,...
IMG_4918.jpg
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The black X of the Aramach Rebels marks the...
City of Beasts
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
"If you see a beast, and you have the...
The Grace Year
 
5.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden....
The Fractured Empire
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Ceithren Empire is finally at peace, but for...
The Survival List
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Sloane Weber is devastated when her older sister dies...
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
This action-packed YA debut pits a deadly siren princess and...
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into the Crooked Place begins a gritty two-book YA fantasy...
Kingdom of Souls
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
Magic has a price—if you’re willing to pay. The...
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
"This heartwarming story deals with friendship, empathy, caring, nurturing and...
The Rift
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
As corporate greed is pitted against supernatural forces, two young...

Latest Member Reviews

Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, #1)
 
3.3
"FIREBORNE is a new YA fantasy that follows two teens, Lee and Anna (Antigone) in alternating points-of-view. Lee and Anna..."
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel
 
4.0
"As Middle Grade graphic novel adaptations go, this urban fantasy is above par. The artwork has a bit..."
Into the Crooked Place (Into the Crooked Place, #1)
 
4.0
"INTO THE CROOKED PLACE is an engaging YA fantasy that follows five characters on a quest of aligned goals- even..."
To Kill a Kingdom
 
5.0
"TO KILL A KINGDOM is a wonderful YA fantasy about a siren and a pirate. Told in alternating points of..."
A Warm Friendship
 
4.5
"A WARM FRIENDSHIP is a story of friendship and loss, celebrating the time that you have together. Squirrel finds Snowman..."
Winter's Captive
 
5.0
"YA fantasy has always been my favorite. However, the past few months, I'd been in a slump. I struggled getting..."
The Rift
 
3.3
"THE RIFT is a unique YA fantasy that takes place on Black Water Island, a place prized for the herd..."
The Fractured Empire
 
5.0
"I don’t know where to start! The Fractured Empire by Robin D. Mahle is the first in the World Apart..."
Abraham Lincoln: The Making of America #3
 
4.5
"A highly accessible biographical overview of (arguably) the most renowned and history-altering of all the United States presidents. The book..."
The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)
 
3.3
"THE BEAUTIFUL takes place in New Orleans, primarily following a young woman, Celine. Celine fled France after a terrible event..."
Hilda and the Mountain King (Hilda, #6)
 
5.0
"HILDA AND THE MOUNTAIN KING is an engaging and thrilling children's fantasy adventure. This graphic novel tells the story of..."
 
5.0
"Eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson goes to Madrid, Spain with his family in order for his mother to reconnect with the country..."
Glow of the Fireflies
 
3.3
"GLOW OF THE FIREFLIES is a YA fantasy that follows a teenaged girl, Briony, who has no memories from before..."
Good Night, Santa: A Magical Christmas Story
 
5.0
"GOOD NIGHT, SANTA is a simple but elegant book that celebrates the Christmas season, perfect for bedtime. The illustrations are..."
Jolly Jingly Christmas: The Best Christmas Book Ever!
 
5.0
"JOLLY JINGLY CHRISTMAS is a cute rhyming, lift-the-flap, musical, non-religious celebration of the season. Each of the five full page..."
Dear Sweet Pea
 
4.0
"Sweet Pea is in her last year of primary school (K-7th grade) and will be starting at secondary school the..."
I Can Make This Promise
 
5.0
"I CAN MAKE THIS PROMISE is a moving middle grade contemporary fiction about trusting your parents, finding your heritage, and..."
Peppa Pig Festival of Mud
 
4.5
"What I Loved: The story is based off an episode of Peppa Pig, and definitely reads like one. It..."
Everybody Says Meow
 
N/A
"What I Loved: This is one of those books that you can't help but smile while you read, even..."
The Other, Better Me
 
4.0
"THE OTHER, BETTER ME is a contemporary middle grade novel that follows a ten-year-old, Lola, as she explores herself and..."