FRANKLIN, Tenn. – When a flying cicada struck award-winning songwriter Jeff Crossan on the
mouth on his way into a restaurant, he joked to his two kids that he almost ate a cicada. Little did he
know then that more than 10 years later he would release a full collection of rhymes and illustrations
because of the near-insect-consuming incident in his first book for children called I Ate a Cicada Today
(September 2014, Big Bound Books, LLC).
I Ate a Cicada Today features Crossan’s own ink and watercolor illustrations – putting his experience
as a cartoonist to work – alongside his fun animal rhymes like “I leapfrogged a warthog today/The
doctor thinks I’ll be okay.” On the CD accompanying the book, Crossan plays acoustic guitar and sings
the 16-verse song.
Crossan came up with several of the rhymes while eating with his kids at the restaurant the night the
“dive-bombing cicada” hit him in the mouth. He scribbled them on a napkin, adding more verses soon
after, but wasn’t sure what to do with such a comical and offbeat song. It wasn’t until years later that
Crossan had the idea to turn the song into a children’s book using his drawing skills to produce the
colorful and delightful illustrations.
The 32-page hardcover book with accompanying CD will have young readers laughing and singing
along with each two-page spread featuring a verse about a different animal or insect and Crossan’s
short spoken asides adding a comic punch to the zany lyrics.
Crossan’s hit songs include country’s No. 1 “You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation,” which earned a
BMI Million Air Award. He’s worked as a newspaper reporter and photographer, music journalist and
syndicated radio writer. He and his wife, Linda, reside in Franklin, Tennessee. They have a daughter
and a son.
An adorable musical rhyming song/story is one so outrageous if can't be anything but funny! My kids and I got a hoot out of it! A great book to use when kids are feeling down, since it is both beautiful and hilarious! 4.5 stars
Jeff Crossan is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated
songwriter. His hit songs include the No. 1 country tune
“You’re Gonna Ruin My Bad Reputation,” which
earned a BMI Million Air Award.
Before becoming a full time songwriter, Crossan spent
time as a newspaper reporter/photographer, music
journalist and syndicated radio writer. For several years
his cartoons appeared in the Presbyterian Voice. He
earned a degree in journalism at the University of
Crossan lives in Franklin, Tenn. with his wife, Linda.
They have a daughter and a son who have helped them
assemble a fine assortment of mammals, reptiles, fish
I Ate a Cicada Today (September 2014) is his first
children’s book. Originally only a song, Crossan got the
idea for the rhymes when a flying cicada hit him in the
mouth in a restaurant parking lot. While he and his two
kids ate dinner, he scribbled rhymes for a song onto a napkin.
He revisited the song from time to time
through several years,
unsure what to do with the offbeat lyrics,
eventually developing a picture book
using his own illustrations as well.
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