The Ant and the Grasshopper: A Retelling of Aesops Fable by Mark WhiteTitle: The Ant and the Grasshopper
Author: Mark White
Illustrator: Sara Rojo
Theme(s): Hard work, animals, seasons
Opening line/sentence: “An ant once lived next to a grasshopper in a large field.”
Brief Book Summary: The ant spends his summer gathering food and storing it in his house, while the grasshopper just sings and dances. When winter comes, the grasshopper doesn’t have any food and sees that the ant has plenty. The ant tells him there is a time for work and a time for play.
Professional Recommendation/Review #1:
School Library Journal, Karen Land, Greenport Public School, NY
“In Ant, White retells Aesops 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. 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.
Professional Recommendation/Review #2:
– Marilyn Courtot (Children’s Literature)
“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 invited 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 is 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.
Response to Two Professional Reviews: I agree with both of these reviews as I feel like this fable is written very well. I think the moral of the story - there is a time for work, and a time for play – is crucial for children to learn. Children will be faced with situations on a smaller level where they will choose between the options to have fun, or to get work done. The retelling of this fable does a good job at enforcing that moral, through the lives of bugs, which perhaps makes it less “intimidating” to children. I also think the illustrations in this retelling are done in vivid color which makes the story more exciting.
Evaluation of Literary Elements: The retelling of this particular fable has been done multiple times, and the plot seems to stay the same each time. I think the plot is extremely important however because the moral of the story is shown through the plot, and it is something all children will need to learn. The style of the fable is simple and easy-to-read for beginner readers, so not only can children enjoy the story but they can also obtain the value of the moral lesson from It as well.
Consideration of Instructional Application: I think the use of fables in classrooms is very important. It gives the teacher the opportunity to teach students a moral lesson, without having to do it through themselves. I think this story can be used to teach a moral lesson in the classroom even though some students may not even realize they are learning it while reading about an ant and a grasshopper.
The Ant and the Grasshopper
In The Ant and the Grasshopper by W. Somerset Maugham we have the theme of justice, trust, fear, morality, embarrassment, happiness and struggle. Taken from his Collected Short Stories collection the story is narrated in the first person by an unnamed narrator and after reading the story the reader realises that Maugham may be exploring the theme of justice or rather the lack of it. George Ramsey has worked all his life and has set aside some money to provide for his retirement. He has been diligent and astute unlike his brother Tom. There is a sense that George feels as though there has been an injustice done.