Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Very Quiet Cricket

Rate this book
A VERY classic from Eric Carle, creator of 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' (1969)!

One day a tiny cricket is born and meets a big cricket who chirps his welcome. The tiny cricket tries to respond, but there is no sound. The quiet cricket then makes his way into the world, meeting one insect after another, each of whom greets the little cricket with a cheery hello—the hum of a bee, the whirr of a dragonfly, the whisper of a praying mantis. The cricket rubs his wings together each time, but nothing happens, not a sound. Until the day he meets another cricket, a female, and something different happens...

As children turn the page on this wonderful moment, they are greeted with a surprise—an actual chirp!

Full of Eric Carle's (1929–2021) gorgeous and lush collage art, a gentle rhythmic text for read-alouds, and a wonder-inducing surprise at the end, The Very Quiet Cricket remains an all-time favorite from one of the true masters of picture-book making.

Includes Audible Electronics with a Replaceable Battery
Edition MSRP: $23⁹⁹ US / $25⁰⁰ CAN (ISBN 978-0-399-21885-9)
Manufactured in China

32 pages, Hardcover

First published November 9, 1990

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Eric Carle

825 books1,962 followers
Eric Carle was a children's book author and illustrator, most famous for his book The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which has been translated into over 30 languages. Since The Very Hungry Caterpillar was published in 1969, Eric Carle illustrated more than seventy books, many best sellers, most of which he also wrote, and more than 71 million copies of his books have sold around the world.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
9,105 (43%)
4 stars
5,955 (28%)
3 stars
4,173 (20%)
2 stars
987 (4%)
1 star
555 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 409 reviews
Profile Image for Mischenko.
1,014 reviews97 followers
March 8, 2017
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle is a wonderful short story about a young little cricket who wants to interact with the creatures around him, but he can't figure out how.

Good Morning! whizzed a locust,
spinning through the air.
The little cricket wanted to answer,
so he rubbed his wings together.
But nothing happened. Not a sound.

The text repeats the same message repeatedly, until the end when the cricket surprises himself with a sweet chirp. Our book actually makes a chirping sound at the end!

Carle's illustrations, as usual, are bright and beautiful and the story is very simple to read. It's no wonder Eric Carle's books are so cherished by young children.

This is positively one of our favorites.

Profile Image for Tim.
476 reviews613 followers
April 27, 2022

*Standing on a walkway in a secret volcano lair hidden inside Skullcrusher Mountain.*

"Ah, Mr. Carle, we meet yet again. Truly you are a nemesis worth having. I confess I'm surprised that you made it past the half pony, half monkey monsters guarding the lair… what? You don't like monstrous hybrids? Shocking given your blocky art style.

"I thought we were through. I was happy in my retirement from being considered *evil* for not liking your books. 'Oh, his work is so precious! It reminds me of childhood! The art is beautiful.' Bah! Makes me sick Mr. Carle. Tis better to be the villain and denounce your supposed genius.

"I've been forced into your work again Mr. Carle. This time the Very Quiet Cricket. Silence is golden, so it's a shame your book was full of LIES. A machine that makes noise on the last page? That was your gimmick this time Mr. Carle? Well, gimmicks will not save you this time. This volcano is set to explode. Now excuse me as I board a ridiculously slow moving platform that you can easily catch up with to make my escape.

*Laughs diabolically*

"What? I make a terrible Bond villain.

"Well you sir made a terrible book… and at least Bond villain are sometimes interesting."

1/5 stars
Profile Image for Calista.
3,878 reviews31.2k followers
July 29, 2018
I can't stand the sound of cricket's. So at the start of the book when the cricket was quiet, I thought that was wonderful. The sound machine in the book didn't work so I didn't get to hear that.

I love the art work. It is fantastic. I think the story is fun even if it is about a nasty cricket.

The nephew did have fun with this book. He gave it 5 stars as well.

Eric is quite the artist.
Profile Image for Archit.
824 reviews3,224 followers
August 8, 2017
A chirpy read for the toddlers!

A small cricket finds himself in a situation where he can't interact with the elder crickets!
The kids will love this one.
Profile Image for Crystal Bandel.
87 reviews16 followers
October 10, 2013
The Very Quiet Cricket by Eric Carle, published 1990.


Picture book.

Pre-K to grade 1.

Found via School Library Journal, reviewed by Starr LaTronica.

One day, a cricket is born, and he goes out into the world, meeting new insects who all make noises in greeting to him. Unfortunately, when he rubs his wings together, he doesn't make a sound. This continues throughout the book, every time the cricket meets a new insect, until he meets a lovely female cricket at the end. When the final page is turned, the cricket--aided through technology--chirps. The sound box in the book may seem like a gimmick, as reviewer LaTronica notes: "The sound produced is not so much enhancement for the plot as it is essential to the resolution. Without it, the final outcome is flat and anticlimactic, and the text becomes tediously repetitive. " However, Carle's book does seem complete, even if the book has ceased to make the required noise, since the readers can supply it themselves. This is a delightful book about waiting to grow up, and the illustrations, the simple story, and the conclusion should entertain young readers. This book is acceptable for all audiences.
Profile Image for Emily (Mrs B's Books).
1,548 reviews84 followers
September 20, 2015
The pictures very much tell you that thesis an Eric Carle book and the writing follows the same paths as his other books.

Its a light feel good book for your baby/toddler. My twins certainly like the bright colours used in the pictures.
Profile Image for Angel.
Author 2 books869 followers
May 27, 2017
I read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle to my son when he was between the ages of 2-4 years old. This book is no different in the fact it has depth, even a philosophical atmosphere and is relatable, it's especially very relatable to my son living with autism. He could relate to the cricket struggling inside to socialize with others, wanting to say something in response, but no sound coming out, a silent outcry, an experience my son knows all too well. But at the end his voice is heard and there finally you can hear it not necessarily with your ears, but with your heart and right there is progress in humanity's resilience and effortlessness to connect. Something we all can relate to.
Profile Image for Manybooks.
3,124 reviews104 followers
July 6, 2021
Although Eric Carle’s 1969 The Very Hungry Caterpillar (but of course in the German translation of Die kleine Raupe nimmersatt) is one of my all-time favourite early childhood book memories, I cannot say that I have been as equally and as all encompassingly impressed with his 1990 The Very Quiet Cricket.

Yes indeed and definitely, the accompanying artwork is most certainly (and in fact like it is usually the case for me with Eric Carle as an illustrator) a delightful and colourful combination of imagination and realism, and I do very much appreciate how with his illustrations for The Very Quiet Cricket Carle visually introduces his young readers/listeners to nine different types of insects and one worm (although personally, I do kind of wish that there actually were no worm appearing in The Very Quiet Cricket since worms are generally NOT insects except for when they appear as insect larvae, and in my humble opinion, the worm in the apple scenario in The Very Quiet Cricket might therefore be rather confusing to and for the intended audience with regard to animal classifications, as since all of the other animals featured by Eric Carle in The Very Quiet Cricket are clearly insects, it would not be unreasonable for children to assume that the encountered worm should, must therefore also be a certain type of insect).

But albeit that Eric Carle’s illustrations have certainly and also most definitely been a total visual delight for my eyes and for my aesthetics, the text for The Very Quiet Cricket is in my humble opinion rather potentially majorly confusing for younger readers or listeners. For yes and honestly, if I had encountered the presented narrative of The Very Quiet Cricket as a child, in other words when I was the age of Eric Carle’s intended audience, I would almost certainly be totally wondering why if ALL of the other insects (and the worm) are able to make sounds, are able to converse with and greet the young cricket (including an older cricket, including a member of the young cricket’s own species), why is the young cricket then not able to respond, why is the cricket not able to make any kind of sound at all until at the very end of The Very Quiet Cricket (when the very quiet cricket meets another similarly aged cricket and starts chirping). Because although as an adult reader I am of course able to deduce that the young cricket is obviously a male and is able to finally burst into a cricket song when he encounters another young and clearly female cricket, I seriously do doubt that this would have occurred to me as a child, and thus, I do think that there is textually just too much potential confusion present with regard to Eric Carle’s printed words for me to consider a higher ranking than three stars for The Very Quiet Cricket.
Profile Image for Miguel.
455 reviews9 followers
November 21, 2015
A maioria dos livros de Eric Carle contém histórias simples e é através da repetição de palavras ou acções que o ilustre ilustrador dá realce às mensagens que através das obras quer transmitir aos seus leitores. Este álbum publicado no romper da década de 1990, e agora apresentado ao público português, numa tradução de Ana M. Noronha, não foge ao seu modus operandi.
«Num dia de calor, de um ovo minúsculo nasceu um pequeno grilo.» Assim tem início esta história, de um recém-nascido grilo que dada a sua fragilidade não consegue ainda cricrilar, e assim, fica impedido de interagir com outros insectos.

Opinião completa:
Profile Image for Stephen Deloney.
62 reviews1 follower
February 3, 2017
Kids loved the ending, though this may be due to how repetitious it got there. Perhaps this would be a good book to encourage the children to respond with 'Nothing Happened... not a sound' page after page after page.
Also different voices for each of the insects might shake things up a bit.
Profile Image for Henry.
Author 19 books799 followers
August 18, 2014
Like all of Eric Carle's books, the illustrations are immediately recognizable as his, while the text builds in the familiar, repetitive style that he often uses. I'm not sure if this one has a broader "message" that some of the others do (i.e., The Ouchy Grouchy Ladybug, The Very Busy Spider) but maybe I'm missing something.
32 reviews
February 8, 2018
The “Very Quiet Cricket” is an enticing story for young readers and is especially relatable for those who struggle with social interaction. Going through the world meeting new creatures, the Quiet Cricket tries hard to communicate but nothing seems to come out. With each page, readers are able to predict what will happen due to the repetitive line “The little cricket wanted to answer, so he rubbed his wings together. But nothing happened. Not a sound.” This repetitive style makes this book a great read for pre-k up to first grade students. This inability to speak out continues throughout the story until the cricket meets a fellow female cricket and finally makes a beautiful sound for the very first time. The front cover of this book is intriguing to readers as it features only a large close-up of the Very Quiet Cricket. Carrying on through the pages, the dark cricket is contrasted by bright, vivid colors used to display the background. The use of simple illustrations that lack intrinsic detail are perfectly appropriate for the intended age group. Overall, this is a very charming read and I definitely recommend.
Profile Image for Alexa Maring.
103 reviews4 followers
February 23, 2011
I read this book countless times as a child. I can remember getting ready for bed and waiting patiently for the sound of the cricket. The anticipation of seeing if the quiet cricket will make a noise captivates the students as they are engaged and listening for the cricket to chirp. Eric Carle's books are wonderful for sequencing lessons and this book does not disappoint. Students can share the order in which the animals tried to speak to the cricket and can even create their own book. Again, Carle uses exquisitely textured illustrations that bring life into the art. With illustrations mimicking finger paint, even young students are able to create mentor pieces of art.
Profile Image for Katie.
50 reviews
July 7, 2011
this was such a calming book to read, we even watched the video. it has such a nice calm feel to it. great for if you are exploring different types of bugs. After this book and watching the video with it, we talked about kinds of bugs we see outside at our school and if we have ever seen any at home. I also included what types of buys can be dangerous! ahh
Profile Image for Heather.
1,073 reviews67 followers
June 5, 2008
This was charming, but almost every book in the library was broken so we couldn't hear the cricket sounds at the end. It was worth it though to look through a bazillion so we could find one that worked.

Lovely little story, lovely little moral, lovely, lovely, lovely.
Profile Image for Gina.
Author 5 books22 followers
May 25, 2018
A bit repetitive, but I would have given it an extra star if there had been some explanation about why the cricket couldn't make a noise until the girl. Is there a maturation period after hatching? Do male crickets only chirp for girls? Of was it a made up conflict with an abrupt resolution?
Profile Image for Shashi.
46 reviews8 followers
June 12, 2012
This is my favorite Eric Carle book so far. I love when the luna moth flies over and he enjoys the stillness.
Profile Image for Nathan.
Author 14 books11 followers
October 10, 2022
The Very Quiet Cricket was originally released in 1990 as a children's book, but I'm not reading that version! I'm sure they're quite similar, but the version I have is the 1997 rerelease on thick cardboard pages with a few added bells and whistles. I'm not sure how important that really is, but I thought it was something worth mentioning.

This is a simple children's book which follows the tried and true method of thrusting a protagonist into existence and sending him on a journey where he will encounter a new character on each page who will either teach a lesson or make evident the protagonist's flaws and encourage in some way that he sort out his issues and rise to the top. This story takes the latter approach, giving us a newborn cricket who is unable to sing with his legs (I guess nobody told him to hit puberty first).

It's simple form, and the book does nothing horrendous with the concept. Each page contains about four lines of easy dialogue designed to help kids manage the language and some art which is really hit or miss. While the bugs all generally look fairly decent and are colored with eye-catching prisms, the plants and other scenery is all extremely messy and juvenile. In fact, the grass is nothing more than a series of scribbles. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Carle had a child do the grass for him.

One thing that did bug me about the story was the absolute lack of quotations. I understand what the purpose behind this is (it signifies that the animals are communicating through noise rather than literal speech), it didn't quite feel right. From the perspective of the bugs, they are speaking in actual languages. We don't talk the quotes away from Spanish-speaking characters simply because their noises aren't the native languages of the writer, do we? Particularly not when we're actually writing out what it is they said?

This version of the book includes an added bonus: noise! It breaks all the rules by hitting us not just in our eyes and our brains (and our noses with that delicious papery smell. Oooh, come to me, dead trees!) but it hits our ears as well. Of course, the noise is only for the last two pages in which our closemouthed cricket finally learns to sing. Unfortunately, the accompanying noise is an awful digital drone which sounds suspiciously like a wrist watch (people still have these, right?) alarm. While it's kind of cute and pleasant for the first loop, after that it really becomes grating and I found it distracting. Made it slightly difficult to concentrate on the last few sentences, despite their extreme shortness. Perhaps it was the repeating of the same sound...

The story is also kind of hampered by a lack of emotional context. Each page greets us with the same pattern: friendly creature says "Hi", Cricket tries to reply in kind, but finds that he is unable to. We're never told how this makes the cricket feel. With all the information we're given, he is entirely indifferent to his inability to speak. I know children might fill in that blank of being unable to do something that they want to do with sadness, but a little acknowledgement that, yes, this is making the cricket very unhappy might have helped the book fall into the trap of being overly detached.

Ultimately The Very Quiet Cricket is an okay book. At the least, it'll be over in five minutes, so parents who absolutely loathe "Reading Time" shouldn't have too much trouble with this one. Otherwise there isn't really a whole lot to it. There's no struggle, no lesson, no consequences, nothing of substance. I suppose it could teach children that crickets sing by rubbing their legs together, and it's simple enough that having it around to help children learn to read is probably a good idea. Still, there isn't a whole lot to digest about this... but it isn't bad. I think this is probably the first neutral thing I've reviewed (although I suspect there will be many more as I go through this vast ocean of children's books I've collected). Five out of ten, Crickety sir.
23 reviews
March 29, 2016
Title: The Very Quiet Cricket
Author: Eric Carle
Genre: Picture Book
Theme(s): Voice/Friendship/Kindness
Opening line/sentence: “There are four thousand different kinds of crickets.”
Brief Book Summary: The cricket meets all these different creatures that say, “hi” to him and he wants to respond, but when he rubs his wings together, nothing happens. This happens multiple times until he meets a girl cricket that is also very quiet and when he rubs his wings together this time, he makes a sound.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1: Debra Briatico (Children's Literature)
This delightful picture book tells the story of a quiet cricket who makes his way into the world, meeting one insect after another. As he encounters a locust, praying mantis, spittlebug, cicada, bumblebee, dragonfly, group of mosquitoes, and luna moth, he tries to make a sound. No matter how hard he tries, he cannot make a sound. It is not until he matures and meets a female cricket, that he is able to make the most beautiful sound in the world. Children will enjoy the surprise ending--an electronic cricket chirping sound. 1990, Philomel Books, $19.99. Ages 4 to 8.
(PUBLISHER: Philomel Books (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1990.)
Professional Recommendation/Review #2:
CCBC (Cooperative Children's Book Center Choices, 1990)
A multi-sensory cumulative story features a little cricket which meets, sees and hears the sounds of other insects while it is trying to learn how to chirp. The repetitive text, large full-color images and sturdy pages invite use of the book with a group. CCBC categories: Picture Books. 1990, Philomel, 24 pages, $17.95. Ages 4-7.
(PUBLISHER: Philomel Books (New York:), PUBLISHED: c1990.)
Response to Two Professional Reviews: I like both of these reviews, especially the second one. I completely agree that, “the repetitive text, large full-color images and sturdy pages invite use of the book with a group.”
Evaluation of Literary Elements: I think that the repetitive text is very important because it helps children remember it and they can learn a lot from that. In addition, the big, colorful images keeps the children engages throughout the book.
Consideration of Instructional Application: In a classroom, I would use this book to talk about different types of insects. In addition, I would talk about different types of communicating, from different languages to Sign Language.
Profile Image for Sam.
30 reviews2 followers
September 18, 2013

As a child I was always a fan of Carle's unique picture books, and because I had never read The Very Quiet Cricket I was excited to give it a try. He did not disappoint with this short story. It describes a day in the life of a "very quiet cricket", who becomes frustrated as he meets other bugs who can make sounds but when he tries to reply with a sound of his own, he is always silent. The repetition appears at the end of each page, when it says "The little cricket wanted to answer, so he rubbed his wings together. But nothing happened, not a sound."

The illustrations in this book are what makes it so special to me. The Eric Carle books are always illustrated in a similar way: simple, blocky paintings that are easy for children to look at and very pleasing to the eye. Personally, I love all of the different colors and shapes incorporated into the illustrations, I think that they compliment the simple story line well.

In a classroom setting, I would love to use a repetition book (such as this one) to teach children about repetition or to inspire a Carle-themed art project (maybe we could make our own hungry caterpillars!). The reason that I gave this book only three stars is that, while I did love the book, I don't see many specific uses for it in the elementary classroom. However, I do think that it would be a great book to have in a quiet reading area or to have at home to inspire independent reading (because of the repetition, I think that it would be easier for children to read independently, thus building their confidence as a reader).
Profile Image for Hunter Robinson.
29 reviews
February 10, 2017
The first time I noticed abut this book was the bright colors and the size of the illustrations. As soon as you open the book, the reader is met with a bright colored page of scribbles. I think this would immediately draw the attention of the reader or the students being read to. It sort of opens the child's mind and sparks a bit of creative thinking. "What's that supposed to be?" or "That reminds me a rainbow!" may pop up in their head. As I child I loved this sort of artwork, and to this day really appreciate anything that promotes creative thinking.
The size and shapes of the other illustrations of this book really got my attention as well. It really expresses that the baby cricket is so much smaller than the world around it. I think this is easily relatable to children that may be reading this book. As soon as the cricket is born, it is met with a much larger cricket. I think children can feel like a small thing in a big world sometimes, so this is easily relatable.
As the story begins it is daytime, and by the end of the book it is night. the transition into night is easily visible by the artwork in the book, and so the reader can truly get a grip on the difference between day and night. Altogether I thought this was a very story of a younger character going through not being able to accomplish something, but not giving up on that goal. Something all kids can relate to. The cricket cheeps as you turn that last page was a good cherry on top as well.
Profile Image for Chelsea Cameron.
50 reviews1 follower
April 30, 2014
A Very Quiet Cricket is written by Eric Carle and is one of his most famous books that he has written. After I read this book I had a fuzzy feeling in my stomach. It is definitely a perfect “feel good” book for young kids. The book is also very informative for young kids as it takes the read from insect to insect describing their different characteristics and behavioral methods. The story mainly focuses on the little cricket who rubs his wings together every time he meets new insect friends. At first I thought about how young readers would be confused why instead of saying hello to his new friends he rubbed his wings together but then after reading it I noticed that the author does a really good job explaining that all animals and people communicate in different ways. The little cricket finally at the end of the books meets another cricket and feels better because he knows that the other cricket won’t think it is weird when he rubs his wings together to communicate because they both have the same communication style. I would suggest reading this book to younger students in elementary school as it gives them basic knowledge on different insects, which is applicable to most of the elementary science curriculum.
28 reviews
November 28, 2014
The Very Quiet Cricket written by Eric Carle is a story about a young cricket who cannot make the sound that all the other crickets can. All of his animal and insect friends keep saying hello to him and he tries his hardest to rub his legs together but he just cant make the sound. The little cricket is about to give up and he doesnt think hes ever going to learn how to chirp.

The illustrations in this book are done by watercolor and paint. They are very abstract yet have a lot of color. The background is very bright and draws the reader into each page. The entire page is filled with the illustrations that cover the entire spread. Each insect is a different color which creates a bright and happy story. The use of watercolors make the illustrations very delicate, yet interesting. Each verse ends with the same exact saying, "So he rubbed his wings together. But nothing happened. Not a sound." Children can start to remember this line and recite it as the story goes on. It is repetitive and easy to read.

I recommend this story because it has simple yet creative illustrations. It also has a flowing storyline. Not only that but it teaches kids a good lesson about never giving up and to keep trying no mater what.
Profile Image for Alexis Espinosa.
50 reviews2 followers
May 3, 2015
The Very Quiet Cricket is about a quiet cricket who dreams of rubbing his wings together so he can talk to other animals but he cant talk to them yet and he does not know why. He finds another cricket one night and tries to talk to her and he succeeds and makes the most beautiful sound.

Comments/observations: This books reading level is kindergarten through third grade. I also found that the theme of this book is confidence and being yourself. My emotional readers response to this book was I liked the book and its illustrations and I could see myself putting this book in my own classroom library.

How I could use this book in a classroom: I would use this book for students to tke time to reflect on what they have learned throughout the year in my classroom. After reading this book I would ask them something that they can do now that they could not do at the beginning of the year or when they were younger. I think I could also use this book to talk about what it means to be quiet an loud. After that we could talk about times when we need to be quiet and then practice classroom and school etiquette.

Carle, E. (1990). The very quiet cricket. New York, NY. Philomel Books.
Profile Image for Regina Walker.
Author 31 books133 followers
February 16, 2021
"But nothing happened. Not a sound." Excellent story to discuss disappointment and waiting for what we want. My kids love this book.
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,288 reviews173 followers
March 16, 2023
#1468 in our old book database. Rated: Indifferent

Eric Carle once again employs too much repetition. Here a cricket meets nine different insects but is frustrated again and again that he cannot reply to their greetings with a chirp. It's only when he gets horny that he finally finds his song, which is a bit ick.

Side note: This book has an electronic component, but the battery in our copy has died after twenty years and there doesn't seem to be any way to replace it even if we wanted to.
Profile Image for Anthony.
5,347 reviews24 followers
November 6, 2019
A cricket is born into the world, and is greeted by several different insects, but when the cricket rubbed his wings together not a sound was made. But when the day was over and night had fallen, the cricket discovers something to his surprise.
223 reviews8 followers
August 21, 2020
It’s one of Carle’s slower books (every page has pretty much the same words), but the kids really loved having the cricket “chirp” at the last page 💜Their surprised faces were priceless 😁
Displaying 1 - 30 of 409 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.