* Copy courtesy of Hachette Children's Books *
This children's picture book by Shaun Tan is about Cicada, who is employed in an office as a data entry clerk and is under-appreciated and bullied in the workplace.
I instantly felt for Cicada and was astonished at how quickly I became caught up and invested in his work/life circumstances. The illustrations and minimalist accompanying text are simple yet surprisingly moving. This is an exploration of bullying within the corporate environment and I think many readers - regardless of age - will readily identify with the themes of loneliness, belonging and transformation.
The only reason this wasn't a five star read for me was the ending. I just didn't get it! I've read it over and over and just don't understand why they laugh at the end.
Shaun Tan is an acclaimed Australian creator of picture books for children and Cicada is his latest release. This delightfully presented hardback contains moving artwork and splendidly evocative end papers and Cicada is a character I won't forget any time soon.
My rating = ****