While hard at work on her chores, an ant hears the wonderful clickety click chirrup of music coming from the distance. Although she knows she should focus on the task at hand, she can't help but explore the joyful noise! Award-winning team Rebecca and Ed Emberley bring an entertaining new twist to the classic children's. The bright, bold graphics seem to dance and leap, as a bunch of boogying bugs start...
While hard at work on her chores, an ant hears the wonderful clickety click chirrup of music coming from the distance. Although she knows she should focus on the task at hand, she can't help but explore the joyful noise! Award-winning team Rebecca and Ed Emberley bring an entertaining new twist to the classic children's. The bright, bold graphics seem to dance and leap, as a bunch of boogying bugs start a celebration of their own.
While maintaining the archetypes of the hardworking ant and laid-back grasshopper, the Emberleys transform Aesop’s fable about preparedness into a joyful celebration of community and music with a Cajun flair. “Somewhere on the boulevard of backyards an ant was struggling with the remnants of a picnic,” opens the story, as the determined insect transports a slice of watermelon back to her colony. Weary from her labors, she is energized by a performance from grasshopper “and his buggy band making music with complete abandon.” When the ant declines the grasshopper’s offer to “put down that big sticky thing and come groove with us,” they take their show on the road, culminating with an underground party at the ant colony that all the insects can enjoy. The Emberleys’ characteristically bold cut-paper artwork is as dominant and kinetic as ever, but the loose, jazz-inflected prose holds its own, even injecting the story with moments of humor (the band’s music makes the ant smile, “which on an ant can look a little strange,” the Emberleys write). It’s a jubilant reminder that valuable, important work comes in many forms. Ages 3–7. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
"While maintaining the archetypes of the hardworking ant and laid-back grasshopper, the Emberleys transform Aesop’s fable about preparedness into a joyful celebration of community and music with a Cajun flair."—Publishers Weekly, starred
“The Emberleys offer such a joyful, imaginative interpretation of the classic that even the youngest will understand the unstated message to ‘eat, drink and be merry.’”—Kirkus, starred
- Lois Rubin Gross
It is time for Mardi Gras and the inimitable Emberleys have turned the Aesop's fable of the industrious ant and the freewheeling grasshopper on its head with a carnival attitude. The illustrations are typically bold, big, and alive with color and exaggerated shape. The cacophonous color tones of parade beads permeate the illustrations, and the energy associated with New Orleans comes through on every page. Unlike the classic tale, the ant, who labors hard, is entertained by the grasshopper's "buggy" band, playing riffs on guitar, bass, clarinet, and drums. The insect instrumentalists are happy to have the ant as an appreciative audience and go "on tour" to make the ant's work lighter with the sound of their jazz. The theme is not competition but cooperation, as the joyful sounds of the performers makes the ant's chores seem lighter. At the end of the journey, the grasshopper and his band are invited into the ant colony to cool off and continue their hot licks. In a wonderful, color-splashed fold-out, the good times roll as only they can in Louisiana. It's hard to find great books for Mardi Gras, so this is a must-purchase for collections, both large and small, and will find an appreciative audience at story times where listeners will learn how music makes magic and "laissez les bons temps roulette." Pair with Putamayo's New Orleans Playground for a jazzy program. Reviewer: Lois Rubin Gross
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—Continuing their reimagining of classic tales and employing the brilliantly colored, textured illustrations that are the trademark of their retellings, the Emberleys now focus their attention on a fable from Aesop and turn it into a paean to the music of New Orleans. The story of the industrious ant takes on a new twist when she stumbles upon "a grasshopper and his buggy band making music with complete abandon." The book is chock-full of visual interest and superb vocabulary words ("persevered," "blistering," "hoisting," and more), and the ant discovers that music can make any burden lighter. Inviting the jazzy bug band back to her underground colony, the group moves on to "Laissez les bon temps rouler!" with the foldout translating for children, "Let the good times roll!" While this does not have the hilarity found in Chicken Little (Roaring Brook, 2009), it still makes a splendid read-aloud for a wide variety of age levels, encouraging examination of the energetic illustrations and discussion of the role that music plays in our lives.—Sharon Grover, Hedberg Public Library, Janesville, WI
In this playful riff on Aesop's fable, an ant's load is made light when her spirit is lifted by the grasshopper's music. The ant, burdened with a sticky piece of watermelon and weighed down by the thought that her family is depending on her for food, is so tired she can barely take another step. Then she hears MUSIC (emphasized in boldface capital letters) made by the grasshopper and his band. In fact, those first notes leave her positively bug-eyed. Instead of chastising them for playing, the ant is moved by the tune. Gallantly, the band takes to the road in order to march her back to her colony. In an additional, delicious twist highlighting their symbiotic relationship, the ant invites them into her home, where they party--a celebration highlighted in a foldout spread that works both front and back. The text has a distinctly jazzy drawl that begs to be read aloud. The collage art is bursting with pleasingly chaotic, Mardi Gras colors, especially the two spreads depicting ant's first views of the buggy band. The pacing is masterful, and the inclusion of the foldout page provides a wonderful place to pause and, as the text exhorts, "[l]et the good times roll!" The Emberleys offer such a joyful, imaginative interpretation of the classic that even the youngest will understand the unstated message to "eat, drink and be merry." (Picture book. 4-8)
REBECCA EMBERLEY and her father ED EMBERLEY, winner of the Caldecott Medal for Drummer Hoff, have created the highly praised picture books Ten Little Beasties, Chicken Little, The Red Hen for Roaring Brook Press. Both live in New England—Ed in Massachusetts and Rebecca in Maine.