A stunning new picture book for anyone who has ever felt unappreciated, from Academy Award winner Shaun Tan.
Cicada work in tall building.
Data entry clerk. Seventeen year.
No sick day. No mistake.
Tok Tok Tok!
Cicada works in an office, dutifully working day after day for unappreciative bosses and being bullied by his co-workers. But one day, something truly extraordinary happens . . .
A story for anyone who has ever felt unappreciated, overlooked or overworked but dreams of magic, from Australia's most acclaimed picture book creator. This is Shaun Tan's first author-illustrator book in five years, and his most important and moving fable since The Arrival.
In the media
Cicada by Shaun Tan is another picture book for older readers. Cicada toils in a cold grey office: he's segregated, dismissed and ignored despite his diligence....and after putting in years of thankless work, he is packed off without a pension. When can the future offer him? The story's stark simplicity overlays great depths, exploring themes of acceptance, self-worth and meaningfulness of work, all culminating in escape to a forest world of extraordinary lushness.
Imogen Russell Williams The Guardian
A different kind of worker comes in the form of Cicada, an unhappy data-entry clerk abused by his human bosses and co-workers. The latest from the Australian author Shaun Tan, who won an Academy award for the 2011 film adaptation of his picture book The Lost Thing, Cicada (Hachette Children's, £14.99) is an unusual picture book with an almost entirely grey palette (apart from the green of the insect), and it features a distinct rhythm: "Cicada work in tall building. /Data entry clerk. Seventeen year./ No sick day. No mistake./ Tok Tok Tok!" It's a timely book, given its theme of worker exploitation, and as such is perhaps best suited to readers aged six and up, for whom it could be a starting point for discussing human rights. It's not all bleak though; it has a wild and surprising ending, with the cicada having the last laugh.