I teach 5th grade. I have used "I'm As Quick as a Cricket" with my current class and numerous other grade levels in the past to teach similes. The illustrations are beautiful and can inspire an art project that uses similes. When the students understand what a simile is, I encourage them to look for similes as they read their independent novels and books. It is amazing how many they can find. We found at least 7 or 8 in Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes. I also used this book when I introduced metaphors. Sadako says "I am a turtle." but is she really a turtle? NO!! She is behaving like a turtle.....she is not running fast.
Hope this helps. P.S. Poetry is also good for finding metaphors in.