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by Luli Gray & illustrated by Giuliano Ferri

Age Range: 4 - 7

Pub Date: March 8th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4169-5140-7
Publisher: McElderry

A retelling of the evergreen Aesop fable jauntily adds detail both in the telling and the illustrations. Ant is rich, but all spring and summer he works hard gathering things to eat for winter, and every day he counts them, Scrooge-like: 947 beans, 28 raisins and a "fine smelly wedge of yellow cheese." Grasshopper, though, fiddles his music all summer and at harvest time asks Ant if he can come in, but Ant chides him smugly and says no. During the harsh winter, though, a lonely Ant rescues Grasshopper, dying of hunger at his door, proving that they need each other. The waggish watercolor-and–colored-pencil artwork clothes the bug-eyed bugs; Grasshopper sports a striped muffler and red cap, and Ant wears a green-and-white striped sweater. The ending is a clever twist that’s a take-off on the song "Here We Come a Wassailing": “Here we come a waffle-ing / With syrup and with jam / Here we come to dance a jig, / And eat a lot of ham. / Pizza joy come to you, / Made of pickles, mice, and glue. / And we wish you and squish you a happy New Year.” Would that all morals were so joyful. (Picture book. 4-7)