Who's Got Game?: The Ant or the Grasshopper?, The Lion or the Mouse?, Poppy or the Snake?

Overview

Generation after generation, classic fables, folklore, and myth remain popular because they quicken the imagination of listeners of all ages.

We, the creators of Who's Got Game?, were inspired by the wonder of Aaesop's fables -- their vitality, their endless demand for new interpretations. In our versions the original stories are opened up and their moralistic endings re-imagined: the victim might not lose; the timid get a chance to become strong; the fool can gain insight; the...

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Overview

Generation after generation, classic fables, folklore, and myth remain popular because they quicken the imagination of listeners of all ages.

We, the creators of Who's Got Game?, were inspired by the wonder of Aaesop's fables -- their vitality, their endless demand for new interpretations. In our versions the original stories are opened up and their moralistic endings re-imagined: the victim might not lose; the timid get a chance to become strong; the fool can gain insight; the powerful may lose their grip. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. More than a play on these beloved fables, Who's Got Game? is AESOP LIVE!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Renowned novelist Morrison delivers her hip-hop–inspired interpretations of three of Aesop's fables (previously published as picture books, co-created with her son) in a gentle, melodious style. In "Who's Got Game?: The Grasshopper or the Ant?," Kid A, the ant, and Foxy G, his grasshopper pal, don't see eye-to-eye on their work ethic. But Grasshopper's artistic dreams may have listeners pondering what it means to give and take. Lion and Mouse experience a bit of role reversal when the smaller creature removes a thorn from the king of the jungle's paw in "Who's Got Game? Lion or the Mouse?," and snakes will be snakes in "Who's Got Game? Poppy or the Snake?" When a grandfather affectionately known as Poppy runs over a snake, the slithering creature craftily guilts the man into making amends. But when the snake eventually bites the hand that helps him, Poppy is prepared. Listeners of all ages will savor these familiar stories with a fun twist, especially as performed here with easygoing panache. Ages 6-up. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Publishers Weekly
Several previously published titles make a comeback. The paper-over-board Who's Got Game?: Three Fables by Toni Morrison and Slade Morrison, illus. by Pascal Lemaitre, collects The Ant or the Grasshopper?; The Lion or the Mouse?; and Poppy or the Snake? first published in 2003 and gathered together for the first time. In a starred review of Ant, PW wrote, "Aesop's freewheeling Grasshopper and industrious Ant become `Foxy G and his ace Kid A' in this witty, hip-hop-inspired update." Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780743283915
  • Publisher: Scribner
  • Publication date: 2/6/2007
  • Series: Who's Got Game? Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Toni Morrison

Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize-winning American author, editor, and professor. Her contributions to the modern canon are numerous. Some of her acclaimed titles include: The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988. She won the Nobel Prize for Literature 1993.

Slade Morrison was born in Ohio and educated in New York City. He studied art at SUNY Purchase and maintains a studio in Rockland County where he lives. He has collaborated with his mother on three previous books for children.

Pascal Lemaitre illustrated Toni and Slade Morrison's bestselling Who's Got Game?: Three Fables, as well as many other books for children. He and his family divide their time between Brussels, Belgium, where he teaches illustration, and Brooklyn, New York. Visit him online at PascalLemaitre.com.

Biography

Toni Morrison has been called "black America's best novelist," and her incredible string of imaginative contemporary classics would suggest that she is actually one of America's best novelists regardless of race. Be that as it may, it is indeed difficult to disconnect Morrison's work from racial issues, as they lie at the heart of her most enduring novels.

Growing up in Lorain, Ohio, a milieu Jet magazine described as "mixed and sometimes hostile," Morrison experienced racism firsthand. (When she was still a toddler, her home was set on fire with her family inside.) Yet, her father instilled in her a great sense of dignity, a cultural pride that would permeate her writing. She distinguished herself in school, graduating from Howard and Cornell Universities with bachelor's and master's degrees in English; in addition to her career as a writer, she has taught at several colleges and universities, lectured widely, and worked in publishing.

Morrison made her literary debut in 1970 with The Bluest Eye, the story of a lonely 11-year-old black girl who prays that God will turn her eyes blue, in the naïve belief that this transformation will change her miserable life. As the tale unfolds, her life does change, but in ways almost too tragic and devastating to contemplate. On its publication, the book received mixed reviews; but John Leonard of The New York Times recognized the brilliance of Morrison's writing, describing her prose as "...so precise, so faithful to speech and so charged with pain and wonder that the novel becomes poetry."

Over time, Morrison's talent became self-evident, and her reputation grew with each successive book. Her second novel, Sula, was nominated for a National Book Award; her third, 1977's Song of Solomon, established her as a true literary force. Shot through with the mythology and African-American folklore that informed Morrison's childhood in Ohio, this contemporary folktale is notable for its blending of supernatural and realistic elements. It was reviewed rapturously and went on win a National Book Critics Circle Award.

The culmination of Morrison's storytelling skills, and the book most often considered her masterpiece, is Beloved. Published in 1987 and inspired by an incident from history, this post-Civil War ghost story tells the story of Sethe, a former runaway slave who murdered her baby daughter rather than condemn her to a life of slavery. Now, 18 years later, Sethe and her family are haunted by the spirit of the dead child. Heartbreaking and harrowing, Beloved grapples with mythic themes of love and loss, family and freedom, grief and guilt, while excavating the tragic, shameful legacy of slavery. The novel so moved Morrison's literary peers that 48 of them signed an open letter published in The New York Times, demanding that she be recognized for this towering achievement. The book went on to win the Pulitzer Prize; and in 2006, it was selected by The New York Times as the single best work of American fiction published in the last 25 years.

In addition to her extraordinary novels, Morrison has also written a play, short stories, a children's book, and copious nonfiction, including essays, reviews, and literary and social criticism. While she has made her name by addressing important African-American themes, her narrative power and epic sweep have won her a wide and diverse audience. She cannot be dismissed as a "black writer" any more than we can shoehorn Faulkner's fiction into "southern literature." Fittingly, she received the Nobel Prize in 1993; perhaps the true power of her impressive body of work is best summed up in the Swedish Academy's citation, which reads: "To Toni Morrison, who, in novels characterized by visionary force and poetic import, gives life to an essential aspect of American reality."

Good To Know

Chloe Anthony Wofford chose to publish her first novel under the name Toni Morrison because she believed that Toni was easier to pronounce than Chloe. Morrison later regretted assuming the nom de plume.

In 1986, the first production of Morrison's sole play Dreaming Emmett was staged. The play was based on the story of Emmett Till, a black teen murdered by racists in 1955.

Morrison's prestigious status is not limited to her revered novels or her multitude of awards. She also holds a chair at Princeton University.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Chloe Anthony Wofford (real name)
      Toni Morrison
    2. Hometown:
      Princeton, New Jersey, and Manhattan
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 18, 1931
    2. Place of Birth:
      Lorain, Ohio
    1. Education:
      Howard University, B.A. in English, 1953; Cornell, M.A., 1955

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