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Eric Carle Museum in Amherst hosts performances of Carle’s famous insect characters

“The Very Quiet Cricket” wants very much to chirp but can’t because his stridulatory organ hasn’t sufficiently matured — a shortcoming that weighs increasingly heavy as he encounters a locust, a cicada, a praying mantis and other proudly noise-making members of class insecta. Meanwhile, “The Very Lonely Firefly” is so named because he’s unable to locate others of his kind. Time and again he sees a light and flies toward it only to find it’s a candle or a flashlight or a lantern or the eyes of an owl or the lights on a car or some other damn thing. The former of these Eric Carle stories is said to be about the search for love; the latter about the search for belonging. Both have happy endings and both will be brought to life this weekend in dance and life-size puppet collaborative productions by Picture Book Theatre and Amherst Ballet.

Performances are Friday and Saturday at 2 and 3 p.m. at the Eric Carle Museum in Amherst. $5 (museum admission separate). 658-1126.

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