The Grasshopper and the Ant
. Little, Brown, and Company . NY
x (Carlson Fable Collection, BIC bldg)
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This is a second copy of this first printing with its dust jacket. Here is another strong and well considered Jerry Pinkney book. The artist's statement at the end of the book is helpful. Pinkney's watercolors stress the colors of the seasons as nature changes from summer to fall and then to winter. He also stresses the musical quality of the story. His special gift here is in painting faces and particularly eyes. Do not miss the cover illustration, which is not the same as the dust-jacket illustration. Pinkney's form of the story has the Queen Ant offering the freezing grasshopper a cup of tea. He sees the ants learning to share and the grasshopper learning to work. This grasshopper makes snow angels, snowmen, and snow hoppers! He is a one-man band, complete with guitar, drum, cymbals, and accordion. The key to his depiction here is that he is alone. Near the end is a surprising "fold-up" page to add height to a two-page spread. The grasshopper is above ground while the ants are below ground. Pinkney directs readers to the endpapers to see how the grasshopper has learned to work, but I have trouble finding the evidence for his learning, beautiful as the endpapers are.