Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Grasshopper & The Ants, by Jerry Pinkney

By surprise we've been receiving a few children's books in the mail from certain publishers. It's been awhile since I've accepted any for review and it was fun for the kids to once again receive some books specifically for them. I've also been delighted with the surprise of a few of these and we thought we'd share them with you.

Another book by Jerry Pinkney and this time it's one of my favorite stories - The Grasshopper & the Ants. What parent doesn't like this parable against laziness? Although to be honest and to be fair, I've just always liked this story. (Apparently I was drawn to moralistic tales from a very early age.) I distinctly remember the first time I saw the old Disney cartoon of the same title and being fascinated with it. I've also never liked the grasshopper. He was far too lazy to like. I much preferred the ants who worked hard all spring and summer and fall to make sure that they were well provided for during the winter months. Then, too, I felt that they deserved their playtime and rest because they had earned it. I'm a huge fan of the "work hard, play hard" mentality and live that way myself. I've always secretly been afraid that the Grasshopper didn't really learn his lesson from the ants. I do admire the ants generosity and hospitality in allowing the Grasshopper into their fellowship for the winter but what's to prevent Grasshopper from repeating the cycle the next year?!?! He got away with laziness and greed once, and now he knows the generosity of the ants. Would the ants let him in again next year if he just (literally) fiddled around? Is there ever any need for him to work?

These are my long standing questions. What happens to Grasshopper after this winter!? We're never told and I will always wonder.

Jerry Pinkney decided to tackle this story and artistically he does it beautifully. I love his style of illustrating. It is interesting to look at and very beautiful. The text in this story is minimal with just a musical line or two per page. I wouldn't say that the story is meaty but the illustrations most certainly are. Pinkney does not disappoint and this book is a lot of fun. (EXCEPT FOR THE MYSTERY OF WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.)


Less classically appealing, but a book which is already looking well-loved around these parts is:

I Love You, Blankie is a book that two of my children, in particular, readily identify with. I always hoped that at least one of my children would develop a particular affection for a stuffed animal or something. For some truly inexplicable manner Bookworm3 (age 4) is extremely attached to her blanket (which she calls a "bah-yette" - I don't know why). Then Bookworm4 came along and he also loves his blanket dearly (fingering softly when stressed) and so both of them love this book about a beloved blanket.

The idea behind this book is that the blanket is a friend and close companion, going on all sorts of adventures with the child. Told in rhyme and simple text, the child and their blanket travel the seas, fly up into the air in a balloon (made of blanket, of course), and slide on shooting stars. It's very cute and touching and if you have or know of a strong blankie lover, this book is most definitely for them.

Many thanks to LBKids who sent both of the above titles my direction in order to facilitate a review. I received no additional compensation for this post and all opinions are 100% my own.


bekahcubed said...

For some odd reason, picture book reviews are becoming more and more interesting to me :-). I'll definitely have to check out this version of The Grasshopper and the Ants.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Color me jealous of your UNSOLICITED Jerry Pinkney. That, my friend, is BIG.

Heather said...

I'll have to check out THe Grasshopper and the Ants book. Love the cover!

Priya said...

The Grasshopper & the Ants’ made by many times awarded author and illustrator for children Jerry Pinkney, brings an, in many ways, educational story for the youngest readers that resembles a classic Aesop’s fable.

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