Ant and Grasshopper

Overview

When Ant spies a carefree Grasshopper playing a fiddle outside on the lawn, Ant immediately harrumphs at the insect's foolishness and continues to go about his very serious business of gathering and counting his food for the winter. But Ant finds Grasshopper's music and whimsy more catchy than he'd like, and soon he's distracted by his own rhyming and doodling! When the harsh winter hits and Ant finds Grasshopper cold and hungry in the snow, he can't help but bring him inside. Only after opening his home to ...

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Overview

When Ant spies a carefree Grasshopper playing a fiddle outside on the lawn, Ant immediately harrumphs at the insect's foolishness and continues to go about his very serious business of gathering and counting his food for the winter. But Ant finds Grasshopper's music and whimsy more catchy than he'd like, and soon he's distracted by his own rhyming and doodling! When the harsh winter hits and Ant finds Grasshopper cold and hungry in the snow, he can't help but bring him inside. Only after opening his home to Grasshopper does Ant realize that music, dancing, and laughter have their place in his life, too.

Luli Gray's funny twist on this fable will have readers giggling and singing. With Giuliano Ferri's lush and whimsical illustrations, this book is both heartwarming and lovely to behold.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Gray and Ferri inject this Aesop's fable with a welcome dose of compassion, along with the acknowledgement that all work and no play makes Ant a dull... ant. Ferri's (The Magic Book) light-infused watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations hint at the dispositions of the two players: Ant wears a visor and pince-nez as he scowls and covers his ears to block out Grasshopper's music; the fiddler sports a jaunty cap and dances as he plays. The curmudgeon's gradual warming to Grasshopper's music is cleverly depicted: Ant's pen insists on "making swans out of the twos and fat snowmen out of the eights" in his ledger, while he struggles to concentrate on his accounting. When fall arrives, Ant chastises Grasshopper for his lack of preparations, but he later rescues the frozen Grasshopper, and each expresses appreciation for the other's talents. Gray (the Falcon's Egg trilogy) narrative makes some unusual segues—Ant has a stage fright–themed nightmare, and the book ends with the two singing a nonsense version of a Christmas carol ("Here we come a waffle-ing/ With syrup and with jam"), giving this warmhearted adaptation a wobbly conclusion. Ages 4-–7. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Industrious Ant and pesty, music-loving Grasshopper move beyond Aesop's pointed lesson on negligence to a quite different moral as Gray further develops their relationship in this engaging, extended story. The plot unfolds in familiar fashion but with considerably more dialogue and character development. Ant is a rich, hardworking, bean-counting fellow. Grasshopper is a bothersome distraction. "It's June, Ant! The sun is warm; the sky is blue. Come out and dance...." Ferri expands the funin fulsome watercolor scenes of Ant's glowing home and the changing seasons beyond his door and windows. The sturdy comic insects, Grasshopper in a jaunty cap and Ant in visor and spectacles on a chain, have expressive eyes and body language. The traditional dichotomy begins to shift as the changing seasons bring quieter times. Ant finds himself distracted in his counting as "fragments of rhyme and wisps of music jangled about in his head." Grasshopper is turned away with a slammed door when he first turns up cold and hungry. "Hah!... I warned you. You danced and sang all summer, while respectable folk worked hard for a living, and it serves you right." Ah, but Ant has more to him than a hard heart, and his mood and his sleep are now disturbed. The old tale has a new implied moral about empathy and friendship as the two unlikely fellows learn to care for each other when Grasshopper nearly perishes in the snow. The humorous, fluent telling and pictures would pair well with terse Aesop versions and stand on their own, offering especially nice read-aloud fare.—Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston
Kirkus Reviews

A retelling of the evergreen Aesop fable jauntily adds detail both in the telling and the illustrations. Ant is rich, but all spring and summer he works hard gathering things to eat for winter, and every day he counts them, Scrooge-like: 947 beans, 28 raisins and a "fine smelly wedge of yellow cheese." Grasshopper, though, fiddles his music all summer and at harvest time asks Ant if he can come in, but Ant chides him smugly and says no. During the harsh winter, though, a lonely Ant rescues Grasshopper, dying of hunger at his door, proving that they need each other. The waggish watercolor-and–colored-pencil artwork clothes the bug-eyed bugs; Grasshopper sports a striped muffler and red cap, and Ant wears a green-and-white striped sweater. The ending is a clever twist that's a take-off on the song "Here We Come a Wassailing": "Here we come a waffle-ing / With syrup and with jam / Here we come to dance a jig, / And eat a lot of ham. / Pizza joy come to you, / Made of pickles, mice, and glue. / And we wish you and squish you a happy New Year." Would that all morals were so joyful. (Picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416951407
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 3/8/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 1,482,567
  • Age range: 4 - 7 Years
  • Lexile: AD610L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

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