Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison, her son Slade, and illustrator Pascal Lemaître -- the team who brought you The Book of Mean People -- band together again for a contemporary take on Aesop's fable about the ant and the grasshopper.
All summer long, carefree Foxy G has been making wonderful music with his wings, while industrious Kid A has spent the time preparing for winter. When a hungry and tired Foxy G shows up at Kid A's during the winter, the ant cops an attitude, telling Foxy he's wasted his time "on those funky wings," making him "feel like a jerk," and not letting him inside. But Foxy stands up for himself. "I'm an artist, that's what I do!" he says, claiming, "Art is hard work. It just looks like play." By the end, the two quarreling insects haven't reached a solution, but Foxy gets the last word. As he takes off in the snow, he asks this provocative question: "Name, fame, blame, shame -- the question is: Who's got game?"
This first installment of the Who's Got Game? series is narrated in a hip, streetwise voice that departs from the typical tone found in picture books. Illustrated with Lamaître's urban-sweet comic-strip frames, the Morrisons' feisty retelling of the classic tale will set readers to wondering if Kid A (the ant) really should be so moralistic about hard work and if the music created by Foxy G (the grasshopper) just might deserve more respect. Whether readers agree with Kid A or Foxy G, this balanced argument will at least get them thinking about the role of art and creativity in their lives. Matt Warner