I like Eric Carle. So does Sigourney. His colorful textured artwork (paint and collage?) makes us both happy. And the story of a cricket finding its chirp is cute. But I found a couple of things annoying. First, Carle (or his publicist?) inflates the importance of his story: "In The Very Quiet Cricket
Mr. Carle chooses a lowly insect as the hero, but beyond the simple story of a cricket finding his voice, it is a story 'about love and survival of all living things--crickets and humankind.'" Really? Survival of all beings? Not so much. It's about a cricket longing to exchange plessantries with a diversity of other insects, but is only able to get his chirp on when another cricket crosses his path. What is this story trying to say anyway? Should we seek meaningful relationships only with people/beings exactly like us? In no way do I believe Carle's saying "By all means, discriminate against others!" But the message is a bit confusing.
Carle's closing remarks are confusing as well: "I hope you have enjoyed this story. Close the book now and your cricket's chirp will have a long life. Apparently, one version of The Very Quiet Cricket
includes a recorded version of a cricket's chirp triggered by the turning of the final page. The version we read included no such recording, meaning Carle's closing statement made no sense to us.
In the end, Sigourney thought the drawings were pretty and enjoyed pointing at the insects. I found the book to be fair to middling.