about the story

cicadadownrt014Most artists agree that inspiration often strikes from out of the blue. That certainly was the case with “I Ate A Cicada Today.”

When a dive-bombing cicada struck songwriter Jeff Crossan on the mouth in a restaurant parking lot, he said to his two children, “That was close. I almost ate a cicada.” Jeff, always on the lookout for a song idea, immediately recognized potential in his off-the-cuff rhyme. By the time he walked into the restaurant he was humming the first verse of “I Ate A Cicada Today.” While he and his children ate dinner he jotted down more rhymes. And by the time they’d finished eating, several verses of comical rhymes were scribbled on a napkin and tucked into Jeff’s shirt pocket.

A few days later, Jeff, a professional tunesmith on Nashville’s music row, had written more than 30 verses before he filed them away in a drawer because he wasn’t sure what else to do with such an offbeat song. The song lay forgotten for several years.

flyballkidDuring that time, Jeff began drawing cartoons for the Presbyterian Voice, a regional newspaper of the Presbyterian Church, USA. One day, while working on a cartoon, inspiration struck again, this time as the idea to turn “I Ate A Cicada Today” into a children’s picture book with an accompanying CD of the song. Jeff selected his favorite verses to illustrate and began doing ink drawings. When he’d completed 16 drawings he decided he’d like to see how they looked with color added. He asked his wife, Linda, also an artist, to watercolor a couple of pages. Jeff liked what he saw. However, Linda, who was working as an art director, was unable to devote more time to the project. And Jeff was spending most of his time writing songs. So, once again, the book was put away.ladybug1018

But Jeff couldn’t stop thinking about it. Eventually, determined to complete the project, he asked Linda to give him a few tips on painting with watercolors. It wasn’t long before he was devoting much of his creative energy to painting his ink illustrations.

Once the artwork was complete he recorded the 16 verse song, accompanying his vocal with acoustic guitar. Then, with the help of Linda’s skills as a graphic designer, the book was formatted for printing.

It is the first children’s book release from Big Bound Books, LLC.



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