Cicada Hunt!

Books About Cicadas

We're always looking for more books about cicadas. Please e-mail us 
if you know of any that are not on our list!

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Books for Children

Here are some books that are only about cicadas:

The first book introduces Periodical Cicadas to the youngest children.

Cecily Cicada / words by Kita Helmetag Murdock and Patsy Helmetag.  
Annapolis, MD: Possum Products, 2004.  26 p.

   Here is Dad's review, from his CicadaBlog:

   Many articles and blog posts about Periodical Cicadas emphasize adults’ dislike, 
   disgust, and even fear of these insects.  Bloggers sometimes trace their feelings to 
   childhood experiences—stepping on cicadas, bumping into flying cicadas, or feeling 
   a cicada dropped down their shirt.  This gets me wondering—what can we do for today’s 
   kids to help them enjoy these amazing bugs?  (My own boys have already promised not 
   to force cicadas on their bug-phobic friends, but there must be something more.)

   Before the big Cicada Emergence of 2004, a mother and grandmother in Washington, 
   DC, felt similar concerns.  They wrote and illustrated a book—Cecily Cicada—especially 
   for preschoolers who needed help with that year’s cicadas.  Cecily Cicada tells her life 
   story in terms young kids relate to—by giving her human feelings. Wouldn’t seventeen 
   years underground get boring?  Then let’s imagine how Cecily might pass the time. How 
   does it feel to shed your skin and grow wings?  Cecily was surprised—she didn’t know 
   what was coming. What do cicada songs sound like to Cecily?  Of course, they’re so 
   beautiful that she fell in love with the singer!

   Reading reviews, it’s clear that Cecily Cicada helped lots of kids in 2004—
   it’s a parent-tested and child-approved way to subvert cicada-phobia.  I asked my neighbor 
   to try the book with her children, and she said it communicated lots of facts about cicadas 
   along with all the fantasy.  However, it might not be as effective with children older than about
   1st grade.

   If there’s a child in your life who might need help preparing for this year’s Periodical Cicadas, 
   you can visit the following Web page for information about purchasing the book: 

   You can also buy copies at:
      Magic Tree Bookstore in Oak Park, IL
      The Morton Arboretum store in Lisle, IL  (Also check out their exhibits and programs about
          Periodical Cicadas)
      The Grove Store at The Grove Interpretive Center in Glenview IL.  (Also check out their 
          exhibit on Periodical Cicadas.)

The next one is Dad's personal favorite book about Periodical Cicadas:

When the Woods Hum / words by Joanne Ryder and illustrations
by Catherine Stock.  New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1991.  29 p.

     Dad's review of this book from a few years ago:

     This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of a father who
     introduces his young daughter to the amazing life of the
     Periodical Cicada.  First they find a few holes dug by nymphs,
     and he gives her a dried cicada he collected as a boy, 17 years
     before.  Then, one warm evening, he takes her to the woods to
     watch thousands of nymphs crawl out of their holes, climb trees,
     and shed their skins.  After a day or so of rest, the cicadas fill
     the woods with their humming songs.

     17 years later, the girl returns with her young son.  With her father,
     they walk "through the woods that hummed and roared with the
     sound of cicadas calling at last, calling once more."

     Daddy cried.  The next time Periodical Cicadas emerge in our
     neighborhood, it will be the year 2007.  Ethan will be 12, and
     Aaron will be 10.  I hope they still love bugs!

These books are about all kinds of cicadas (not just periodical ones):

Cicadas  (A True Book)
words by Ann O. Squire
New York: Children's Press (a division of Scholastic), 2003.  47 p.  

     This book provides a wide range of background information and photos about 
     all types of cicadas.  Some of the text specifically describes Periodical Cicadas, 
     but most applies to all cicadas.  The cover and many other photos are of Periodical  
     Cicadas and their nymphs (although they are not always identified as such).   
     Parents can read this book to interested preschoolers through maybe 2nd graders, 
     and older children can read it by themselves.

The Life Cycle of a Cicada  (Things with Wings) 
words by JoAnn Early Macken
Milwaukee: Weekly Reader Early Learning Library, 2006.  24 p.  

     This book provides basic information and great photos about how cicadas grow 
     up.  The cover and some other photos are of Periodical Cicadas (although they 
     are not identified as such).  Many 2nd graders and some 1st grades should be 
     able to read this book on their own.

Cicada Sing-Song / words and photographs by Densey Clyne.
Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens Publishing, 1998.  32 p.  

     This book has many beautiful photos and interesting text about cicadas in 
     Australia.  As if kangaroos weren't enough to make us want to visit Australia;
     now we want to go there to see the cicadas!

These books have a few pages about cicadas:

Chirping Insects / words by Sylvia A. Johnson and photographs by
Yuko Sato. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, 1986.  47 p.  

     This book describes and illustrates how insects make their songs.
     Most of the book is about grasshoppers, katydids, and crickets, but
     there is one photo and one page of text about cicadas near the end.
     This book is an adaptation of a Japanese book by Sato Yuko.  (That
     may mean that the species they show are mainly from Japan.)

Maggots, Grubs, and More: The Secret Lives of Young Insects
words by Melissa Stewart 
Brookfield, Connecticut: The Millbrook Press, 2003.  63 p.  

     There is only one page of text and one photo of an adult cicada beginning 
     to emerge from its nymphal skin.  However, the information and photos of
     how other types of insects grow up make it worth taking this book home 
     from the library.

Scientific Literature on Cicadas

Do you want to read books and articles written by scientists, for scientists?  
Then start with these pages from the Cicadas of Michigan Website:

List of "miscellaneous references containing information on cicadas":

Published scientific literature on periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.).:


Click here to return to our main Periodical Cicada page.







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This page was created on August 26, 2000, and it was last updated on May 16, 2007.