A Writer's Playground

Monthly Activities for Kids by Linda Martin Andersen

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What Does an Old Cricket Have to Do With Trustworthiness?

Posted by lindamartinandersen on February 22, 2013

“What Does an Old Cricket Have to Do With Trustworthiness?” by Linda Martin Andersen


Welcome to “A Writer’s Playground”–A place to find wordplay, writing, and monthly calendar activities for kids and those young at heart.

Think of February and Washington’s birthday and you may recall the story of a cherry tree, an axe, and George’s honesty.  Hopefully, after reading this post, when you think of February, you’ll also think of Old Cricket, Lisa Wheeler, and trustworthiness.

When I was an elementary School Counselor in Cumberland County, NC, students studied character traits each month. Through blog posts at “A Writer’s Playground,” I continue to spread the word about good character. 

This month, like the Cumberland County Schools in Fayetteville, NC, I present the character trait of TRUSTWORTHINESS, which is defined as “telling the truth and keeping promises.”  To promote this trait, I selected one of my favorite read-aloud picture books by Lisa Wheeler.  

Adults, you’ll enjoy reading this as much as readers love hearing it.  Whether reading for one or a whole classroom, encourage interactive participation.  Point out body parts and repeat the sound effects made by Old Cricket’s physical ailments. 

Before reading, predict what Old Cricket says or does that gets him in trouble.  Remember, one of the book’s themes is trustworthiness.  Does Old Cricket tell a lie?  Does he break a promise?  What do you think he might have promised or said that was a lie?  Read the book to see if you’re correct.


Look closely at the book jacket.  Is Old Cricket putting on his hat?  Is this a scene from the book?  I’d like to send a response to Old Cricket and to Lisa Wheeler:  I’m tipping my hat to both of you. Readers, do you know what that means?  Why would I make this gesture?  After reading the book, see if you agree with my actions.  Why or why not?

Learn about Old Cricket and many other picture book titles by Lisa Wheeler here:


9780761363941_p0_v1_s114x166[1]                             9780316988940_p0_v1_s114x166[1]                                       9780689842191_p0_v1_s114x166[1]

For activities created for Old Cricket by two different guide authors, please check the links below:



If you’re a children’s author, I recommend checking out Lisa Wheeler’s upcoming boot camps.


I’d love to hear about a time you told the truth or kept a promise.  Or perhaps you’d like to tell about a time when you didn’t tell the truth or you didn’t keep a promise.  What happened?  Did anyone discover what you’d done?  Did you admit you had done wrong?  Did you apologize? Please leave a comment below.

Thank you for joining us at “A Writer’s Playground.”  Come again soon and bring a friend.

Copyright © 2013 Linda Martin Andersen

6 Responses to “What Does an Old Cricket Have to Do With Trustworthiness?”

  1. Maureen Wartski said

    Long ago I promised my Uncle Harry that I would Always do my best at whatever task was at hand. Promises that are made with love should never be broken . Much good for thought in your post,Linda. Bravo.

    • Maureen,

      Thank you for your comments. You and your Uncle Harry must have shared a very special relationship. How wonderful that he taught you the importance of keeping promises. What a great role model. Fortunately for those who don’t have such outstanding role models, there is children’s literature that promotes positive character building. Hooray!

  2. Joan Y. Edwards said

    Dear Linda,
    I enjoyed the humor of the cricket “feeling cranky. And crotchety. And cantankerous.” I’ve awakened a few days like that myself. Thanks for sharing the character trait of trustworthiness. It’s a good one to have. It’s a good one to admire in friends, too.
    Celebrate your own trustworthiness.

    Never Give Up
    Joan Y. Edwards

    • Joan,
      I am glad you took a look at Lisa Wheeler’s book, Old Cricket. It’s delightful. Yes, I think we can all relate to Old Cricket some days. Thanks for the saying that you’re glad I shared about trustworthiness. Thanks for saying I’m trustworthy. So are you!

  3. Hi Linda,

    So sorry for the long delay. Tipping your hat is saying hello. A very gentlemanly gesture on the part of the cute cricket. I’ll be sure to check out Lisa’s boot camp site. The questions you provide will certainly make any teachers job easier. You’ve thought of everything.

    Have a blessed week, Linda! 🙂


    • Hi Tracy,
      So glad you could stop in and comment with us. Who would have thought that an illustrator could make a cricket be so cute? I agree with your the meaning of tipping a hat. Thanks for saying that you think the questions provided here would be helpful to a teacher. I hope Lisa is holding a bootcamp in your area. She’s outstanding!

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