In this retelling of Aesop's fable, the ant works from sunrise to sunset harvesting and storing food. The grasshopper, on the other hand, spends his days singing and dancing. He invites the ant to join him, but the ant is always too busy. When winter comes, the grasshopper finds there is nothing for him to eat in the cold, snow covered world. He visits his neighbor and asks for food, but the ant chides him reminding him of how he whiled away the summer days singing and dancing so "Now you can spend the winter dancing to keep warm." The final message from the ant: "There's a time for play and a time for work...." One can only assume that the grasshopper is indeed left out in the cold. None of the animals are created with extensive detail, but are drawn with rather broad outlines and shapes. They are interesting, and the scene with the grasshopper singing in the shower should bring a smile. Part of the "Read-it! Readers" series that come in four color-coded levels. Yellow, which is the level for this one, is intended for readers with an expanded vocabulary and a wide variety of sentences. There is an opening note to parents and caregivers that explains the series' structure and gives tips for using the book. 2004, Picture Window Books, Ages 5 to 7.
Gr 1-2-Blackaby follows the plot of Andersen's original tale. The text is written in simple language while presenting some complex ideas and sophisticated sentence structures. Expressive watercolor cartoon characters are the highlight of each spread. In Ant, White retells Aesop's fable in equally simple language. The story can lead to classroom discussion about work and play. Muted cartoon pictures using lots of browns and greens illustrate the story. In Lion, the reteller closely follows the familiar fable about cooperation between the mighty lion and the tiny mouse. The story concludes with the mouse saying, "You didn't think I could help you- but an act of kindness is never wasted," which provides a good opener for further discussion. Clear illustrations in a cartoon style with soft golds, browns, and greens decorate every page. Good choices for children who want to read these familiar stories on their own.-Karen Land, Greenport Public School, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.