by Audrey Wood
You could say that the idea for our book, Quick As a Cricket, was handed
down to me by my great-grandmother.
My great-grandmother had quite a lot of children, and like the old woman
in the shoe, she didn’t know what to do! She managed a large farm while
raising her children by herself, and she had little time to spare. She
decided that the best way to offer her children instruction or advice, was
the quick and direct method.
". . . and like the old woman in the shoe, she had so many she didn't know what to do."
When she saw a problem, or she needed to teach a lesson, great
grandmother Thompson used similes to get her point across pronto!
A simile is "a figure of speech involving the comparison of one thing with
another thing of a different kind, used to make a description more
emphatic or vivid."
For instance, if one of great grand mother’s sons complained about too
much work, she might say, “You’re as lazy as a lizard. You better get busy
as a bee.” Or if one of her daughters had just finished making herself a
new dress to wear to the Barn Dance, and tried it on to showoff,
Grandmother might say, “You’re as pretty as a picture.”
My mother continued this family tradition with her three girls, and
whenever she used her similes to instruct or correct us, they were so
intriguing I kept a list of them.
Most of the similes in Quick as a Cricket are very old, handed down from
my great grandmother, to my grand mother, to my mother, to me, and now
" . . . not every simile in Quick as a Cricket is old."
However, not every simile in Quick as a Cricket is old. I had to make up a
few new ones myself for the rhymes. It was fun! Can you guess which
ones I made up?
Audrey’s List of Original Similes:
"I’m as sad as a basset." I don’t think there is a simile for sad, so I had to
create one. Bassets look very sad, but they are actually very peaceful and
“I’m as weak as a kitten.”
“I’m as loud as a lion.”
“I’m as tame as a poodle.”
Why don’t you make up some similes? It’s easy, and like the ones I made
up, they don’t have to be absolutely accurate, just colorful and interesting.
Everyone loves animals, especially me.
Who knows, your simile might be handed down to many generations in