Grasshopper Magic

Grasshopper Magic

4.0 4
by Lynne Jonell, Brandon Dorman

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   Chicken? Abner is not a chicken, no matter what his brother Derek says. But when it comes to giving a speech in front of the whole town, Abner is . . . well . . . he's more than a little nervous.

   Then his sister Tate has an idea—bravery lessons. And the first one? Eat a roasted grasshopper. But Abner forgot something


   Chicken? Abner is not a chicken, no matter what his brother Derek says. But when it comes to giving a speech in front of the whole town, Abner is . . . well . . . he's more than a little nervous.

   Then his sister Tate has an idea—bravery lessons. And the first one? Eat a roasted grasshopper. But Abner forgot something important. There's magic in the ground under his family's house and grasshoppers hatch from eggs laid in the ground. So what, exactly, would happen if a kid ate a grasshopper that had been soaking up magic all year long? BOING!

   Lynne Jonell follows up her Minnesota Book Award finalist, Texas Bluebonnet Master List choice, and Junior Library Guild selection Hamster Magic with a third story of the Willow family's rowdy run-ins with mixed-up magic.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janice DeLong
When Abner Willow, oldest child of the family, accidentally stumbles into the role of celebrity he is a bit intimidated. Shy by nature, Abner does not want to ride a horse in a parade, nor does he want to read a speech before the entire town—small though it may be. Obligingly, Tate, Abner's next-in-line sister suggests to her brother that doing something brave before the dreaded performance will boost his courage. The desperate deed becomes eating a roasted grasshopper which is recommended as delicious by the seamstress who is making Abner's costume for his fearsome event. However, the insects in question have been soaking up magic from the enchanted ground beneath the Willow home. What happens next will have young readers as full of giggles as Abner and his siblings are full of grasshoppers. This title is the third in the "Magical Mix Ups" series of the Willow family. Hamster Magic (#1) and Lawn Mower Magic (#2) are the prequels. Reviewer: Janice DeLong
School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—The Willow children are back for more magical escapades in this easy chapter book. Abner is dismayed to learn that he has inadvertently volunteered to march in his town's historical festival, dressed as his namesake, General Abner Willow. What if he falls off the horse? Or forgets the lines to his speech? His siblings devise the perfect solution-he needs bravery practice, which comes in the form of baked grasshoppers. Mrs. Delgado, the seamstress who comes to the house to sew Abner's costume, is delighted when she sees the children catching grasshoppers. "Back in my home country, we would catch all the grasshoppers we could find. Then we would eat them like you eat pretzels!" Abner is horrified. Young readers will be happily grossed out as he and his sister chomp on some baked and salted grasshoppers, and they will be amazed to find the siblings springing 20 feet into the air after consuming them. Since grasshoppers begin as eggs laid underground, they were able to soak up all the magic that is located in the town's soil. While having grasshopper magic is fun at first, the children quickly realize that there is a problem-Mrs. Delgado took home some grasshoppers for her two-year-old son, and the children have to act quickly to stop him from eating them and bouncing away. Dorman's charming pen-and-ink illustrations do a fine job connecting readers to the story. While the magical elements might seem a bit contrived, the book's target audience will buy into these aspects without a lengthy explanation needed.—Lisa Kropp, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Hollowstone Hill's magic (Lawn Mower Magic, 2012, etc.) returns in grasshoppers that, when fried and eaten, give Abner Willow an unexpected bounce. Abner needs to practice bravery in order to lead the annual Willow Days parade, costumed as the ancestor for whom he was named. The costumer, Mrs. Delgado, has assured the four Willow children that the grasshoppers they've caught are a delicacy in her home country and cooks them up for lunch. Both Abner and Tate try the baked versions. Soon they are exploring the advantages and disadvantages of being able to leap 20 times their height. When they realize that Mrs. Delgado's 2-year-old will also be bouncing uncontrollably, they set off to forestall an inevitable catastrophe, but the rescue is not what readers may have expected. Still, family teamwork triumphs again. This latest in a series which began with Hamster Magic (2010) stands alone well, with energy, humor and just enough suspense to carry readers along. Occasional grayscale illustrations will support the story. (Final art not seen.) The third-person narration includes plenty of dialogue and enough yuck factor to please any 8-year-old. But with the children's ages and grades unstated in this title, both early able readers and older struggling ones will find someone to identify with. With Celia, Derek and Abner all having played starring roles in the series, fans will be eager for Tate's turn. (Magical adventure. 6-9)

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
A Stepping Stone Book(TM) Series
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
6 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

In addition to her first two books about the Willow family, Hamster Magic and Lawn Mower Magic, LYNNE JONELL is the author of the popular Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, a Booklist Editor's Choice, and one of School Library Journal's Best Books of the Year.  She has also written three other novels and seven picture books.  She has never eaten a grasshopper, but that's only because she hasn't found a magic one yet.

BRANDON DORMAN has created hundreds of illustrations for books and magazines, including the cover art for the Newbery Honor Book Savvy. He loves string cheese and sunflower seeds, and once licked a slug. He lives in Puyallup, Washington, with his wife and two rambunctious sons

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Grasshopper Magic 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked this book from the beginning!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 7-year-old sister loved this book! She read it twice and begged to read it again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What the? This was a horrible book. It made no sense at all. Overall this is a horrible book so i would give it negative five stars. Please dont make a bad mistake in bying this book. Waste of money.