The Grasshopper's Song: An Aesop's Fable Revisited
Book: The Grasshopper's Song: An Aesop's Fable Revisited , by Nikki Giovanni, Chris Raschka, ISBN10: 0763630217, ISBN13: 9780763630218, Candlewick Press, May 2008, Hardcover
Poet, activist, mother, and professor, Nikki Giovanni is a three-time NAACP Image Award winner and the first recipient of the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award, and holds the Langston Hughes Medal for Outstanding Poetry. The author of twenty-seven books and a Grammy nominee for The Nikki Giovanni Poetry Collection, she is the University Distinguished Professor/English at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, and an Oprah Living Legend.
Artfully retold by a renowned poet and illustrated with energy and charm by a Caldecott Medalist, this twist on an Aesop fable is as witty as it is satisfying.
Every year the Grasshoppers sing and play their instruments and the Ants work in rhythm to the music. The crops come up smoothly, and the Ants bring in the harvest to the Grasshoppers’ beat. But when winter comes, the Ants turn their backs on the Grasshoppers, and Jimmy Grasshopper finds this unfair. He’s hired Robin, Robin, Robin, and Wren to sue Abigail and Nestor Ant for what he deserves — R-E-S-P-E-C-T — and a one-half share of the harvest. But will a jury of his peers agree about the worth of art?
"Every year the same thing happens. The Grasshoppers sing, the Ants work in rhythm, the crops come up smoothly, and when winter comes, the Ants turn their backs." So claim four attorneys in Giovanni's (On My Journey Now) revision of Aesop's fable, a shrewd evaluation of the value of art. Jimmy Grasshopper hires the firm of Robin, Robin, Robin and Wren to sue Nestor and Abigail Ant. The trial begins in spring, presided over by Judge Owl and a jury of mammals, birds and insects. For all her amusing animal characters, Giovanni investigates complex issues. "Of course my clients enjoyed [Grasshopper's songs]. Who doesn't enjoy a clown?" says the Ants' lawyer. "Must everything be in the marketplace?" counters the Grasshopper, who performed without a written contract. To illustrate Giovanni's detailed and insightful prose, Raschka (Grump Groan Growl, reviewed below) creates evocative, earth-tone watercolors that suggest camouflage; his dapple-brown images set the scenes in forest undergrowth. Little litigants and their elders will enjoy mulling over the debate. All ages. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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