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Cicada: Book summary and reviews of Cicada by Shaun Tan

Cicada

by Shaun Tan

Cicada by Shaun Tan X
Cicada by Shaun Tan
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  • Published Jan 2019
    32 pages
    Genre: Graphic Novels

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Book Summary

From the visionary Shaun Tan, an inspirational story for older picture book readers and beyond.

Cicada tells the story of a hardworking little cicada who is completely unappreciated for what he does. But in the end, just when you think he's given up, he makes a transformation into something ineffably beautiful. A metaphor for growing up? A bit of inspiration for the unappreciated striver in all of us? Yes, yes, and more.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Simultaneously sobering and uplifting, it will lead thoughtful readers to contemplate othering in their own lives. Ages 12-adult." - Kirkus

"Cicada's narration suggests, coincidentally or not, that of an Asian immigrant, and Tan's story could be regarded as one that holds out the hope of liberation for every mistreated foreign laborer." - Publishers Weekly

"Tan fans and others willing to take a deep dive into the many layers of this fascinating book will find much to appreciate. Those who take a shallow dip may end up feeling unsettled and bewildered." - School Library Journal

"As Tan's books often do, this seems to defy categorization - its themes, admittedly, are perhaps too mature for the standard picture-book crowd. But for older readers drawn to unusual narrative formats, this book could work wonders with its nuanced, hopeful depiction of individuality. Illustrated with graceful restraint, this book is a stirring vignette of a life lived against the grain." - Booklist

This information about Cicada was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Cloggie Downunder

Utterly charming.
Cicada is a picture-book intended for 7-9-year-olds, written and skilfully illustrated by award-winning Australian illustrator and author, Shaun Tan. Cicada has been working tirelessly as a data processor, without thanks, or privilege or reward, for the same humans, for seventeen years. Seventeen years: we may not remember the significance of that period of time until the aha! moment, when it will bring a smile to the faces of most readers. Tan combines his evocative artwork with a poignant but clever little tale that may well make the reader look a little differently at the humble cicada. Could they really be laughing at us? Utterly charming.

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Author Information

Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Arrival, Tales from Outer Suburbia, Tales from the Inner City, Rules of Summer, and The Singing Bones. He received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in 2011 and won an Academy Award for the adaptation of his picture book The Lost Thing (from Lost & Found: Three by Shaun Tan). Shaun lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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