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Nicholas Cricket -- Joyce Maxner

Guest poem submitted by Sally Canzoneri:
(Poem #686) Nicholas Cricket
 Nicholas Cricket plays every night
 in the Bug-a-Wug Cricket Band.

 Moonlight glows and summer wind blows,
 rabbits come dancing on tip-tippy toes.
 The music is just so grand!

 Nicholas Cricket plays with all his might
 in the Bug-a-Wug Cricket Band.

 Little Lake shines and Little Stream winds,
 peep-peep-peepers come dancing through the vines.
 The music is just so grand!

 Nicholas Cricket is a banjo picker
 in the Bug-a-Wug Cricket Band.

 Crickets play fiddles and guitars with middles
 curvy and round as a rantum riddle
 and ducks come dancing
 ducky-hey-ducky-diddle.
 The music is just so grand!

 In the blue blue night
 when the moon is bright
 underneath the leaves of summer
 if we're quiet and quick
 we can find Cricket Nick
 and the washboard strummers
 and the slap-a-spoon drummers
 and the crick-crick-crickety kazoo hummers.

 We can dance all night
 'til the rosy dawn comes.
 The music is just so grand!

 Ladybugs strut and toads sashay,
 moths and mantises wing their way,
 snap-turtles swing and grasshoppers sway
 while Nick and the crickets
 just
      play
            and
                  play.

 The music is just so grand!

 All the Bug-a-Wugs grow sleepy and still
 and go back with the moonlight under the hill.
 Back to the trees the peepers pop,
 back to the hollow the rabbits hop,
 back to the willows the weary ducks waddle
 and back to our beds our tired legs toddle
 to dream as Little Stream
 winds
         its way
                     into tomorrow.

 The music was just so grand!
 The music was just so grand!
 The music was
 just
      so
          grand!
-- Joyce Maxner
"Scrambled Eggs & Whiskey" put me in mind of "Nicholas Cricket", a poem that
also celebrates the joys of an all night jazz session. The poem is the text
of a children's book with wonderful illustrations by William Joyce, but the
poem can stand on its own. Joyce's illustrations have the look of one of
those elegant thirties movies, with the band playing in the kind of night
club Nick and Nora Charles would frequent.

I grew up in rural Vermont where the summer nights are full of the sounds of
insects and animals.  Part of what was so delightful about the nights in a
place like that is the sense that a wonderful show is going on out there in
the night, and that you can sneak in on the performance if you sit still and
listen.  Maxner captures that, as well as the delight of being swept up in a
great jam session.

I don't know more about Maxner, other than this book.  Like all really good
"picture books" this one is as enjoyable for adults as it is for children
and is one that you can read aloud over and over without growing tired of
it.

Sally Canzoneri.

4 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Carl said...

Wonderful post and also the poem about the Nicholas Cricket, which is absolute treat to read and also its phrases and lyrics are superb.

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Ruthann Logsdon Zaroff said...

This was one of my son's favorite books as a child. Even now, at age 20, he recalls it fondly. Every spring, when the peep-peep-peepers herald the warm weather, I find myself wanting to read this book aloud. Thanks for posting it!

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