The Ant or the Grasshopper? (Who's Got Game?)

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9780743222471: The Ant or the Grasshopper? (Who's Got Game?)

"How can you say I never worked a day? ART is WORK. It just looks like play"

So says Foxy G to his buddy Kid A, in Toni and Slade Morrison's sassy, sly tale of friendship, betrayal, and survival -- or not.

Generation after generation, classic fables, folklore, and myth remain popular because they quicken the imagination of readers and listerners of all ages.

We, the creators of Who's Got Game? were inspired by the wonder of Aesop's Fables -- their vitality, their endless demand for more interpretations. In our versions the original stories are opened up and their moralisitic endings reimagined; the victim might not lose; the timid gets a chance to become strong; the fool can gain insight; the powerful may lose their grip. ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN. More than a play on these beloved fables, Who's Got Game? is AESOP LIVE!

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About the Author:

Toni Morrison is a Nobel Prize-winning American author, editor, and professor. Her contributions to the modern canon are numerous.  Some of her acclaimed titles include: The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Beloved, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1988.  She won the Nobel Prize for Literature 1993.

Slade Morrison was born in Ohio and educated in New York City. He studied art at SUNY Purchase and maintains a studio in Rockland County where he lives.  He has collaborated with his mother on three previous books for children.

Pascal Lemaitre illustrated Toni and Slade Morrison's bestselling Who's Got Game?: Three Fables, as well as many other books for children. He and his family divide their time between Brussels, Belgium, where he teaches illustration, and Brooklyn, New York. Visit him online at PascalLemaitre.com.

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 5-Rhythmic verse, comic-strip panels, and a bug-populated city are the main elements in this modern twist on an Aesop fable. Kid A, an ant, leaves his grasshopper friend, Foxy G, to return to work: "Got to split, Foxy. The summer's been fun. Time to dump this place, get back in the race. There's a lot of work to be done." Foxy stays on the streets ("I have to groove, move, prove, disprove-") to play music "clear and wild." When the grasshopper's wings freeze, he shamefully goes to the ant's door. Recalling Leo Lionni's Frederick (Knopf, 1967), Foxy argues that "art is work/It just looks like play," but his friend rejects him. Strong rhythms and occasional use of slang match the jazzy world depicted in the artwork. Some rhymes seem forced, but in general the poetry is effective, flowing through narration and dialogue. The handwritten cursive text may be challenging for younger readers. Lemaitre's cartoons help with the story's pace, and the switch from small panels to full-page scenes effectively accentuates dramatic moments. The book ends with two wordless illustrations, one showing a not-so-sure-of-himself ant, opposite a look at the grasshopper trudging through the snow. A final scene repeats the grasshopper view, this time depicted as a snow globe, with the phrase "Who's Got Game?" underneath. Readers drawn into the initially lighthearted tale are neatly led to a conclusion that encourages them to ponder and discuss the value and importance of art.
Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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