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The Grasshopper & the Ants

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  603 ratings  ·  134 reviews
This magnificent rendition of a classic Aesop fable by a Caldecott Medal-winning artist teaches children: Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today!
In this stunning companion to the Caldecott Medal-winning The Lion & the Mouse and the highly acclaimed The Tortoise & the Hare, a playful grasshopper wonders why the busy ants around him won't join in his merrymaking a
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (first published April 1st 2015)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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Holy Cow, the artwork in the story is beautiful. I like the idea this story tells. The ants at the end have compassion on the grasshopper and they feed him, while the grasshopper entertains them.

I remember the Disney cartoon and it has a very grim ending when the ants send the grasshopper off to starve to death in winter. I liked the cartoon without thinking too much about it. I have come to think of this story as the archetype for a musician or wondering minstrel. Some artist have a hard time
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The traditional story of the hard-working ants that rebuff the ever-excited grasshopper all spring, summer, and autumn. When the snow hits and the ants are entirely ready, the grasshopper discovers that he has done nothing to ready himself. I was able to draw wonderful parallels for Neo, explaining that the classroom student who does all of their work can enjoy recess and games, while the procrastinating one is forced to redo everything and face the ire of the teacher. I think he got it... check ...more
Brenda Kahn
Oct 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Stunning just isn't the word to use up top there, in the summary. It's too mild to describe my response to the art in this latest offering by a master. I want to frame the arc. I want to carry it everywhere with me. I want to thrust it into the hands of everyone I see. When it releases in April, I am buying a box of them to give as presents. (I hope the publisher is considering boxing the three Aesop books as gift sets) I will never tire of rereading it. Each time I do, I find something new in t ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: folk-tale
You know it’s going to be good the minute you see Jerry Pinkney’s name on the cover. And, of course, it’s even better than you might have hoped. Not just a retelling of the classic Aesop’s fable, but a lovely seasonal spin on the story. And with a perfect ending. Smashingly good.
Becky B
Pinkney continues his recent trend of Aesop fables rewrites, this time with the happy go-lucky Grasshoper and the super-diligent and productive colony of ants.

Unusual for picture books, you will miss out on the moral of the story in this one if you don't look at the back end papers. In Pinkney's version, the ants take mercy on the Grasshopper even though he's been foolish and you think that's the end of the story. BUT if you look at the endpaper illustration it seems that the Grasshopper has le
Books like this one are one of the reasons I simply adore reading picture books. The author has retold the cautionary classic fable about two different creatures' philosophy of life. While the grasshopper, cleverly rendered here as a one-man band with instruments everywhere, enjoys life and doesn't worry about tomorrow, the ants have been busily preparing for the advent of winter. In this version the ants take pity on the grasshopper and invite him into their dwelling to share refreshments and h ...more
Juliana Lee
Jun 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
I knew I would give this story 5 stars even before I read it. Anyone who knows me, knows what a huge Pinkney fan I am! I have loved his books since he started illustrating Miranda and Brother Wind, The Talking Eggs, and The Patchwork Quilt. His artwork always draws me into a story. Soon afterwards, he began retelling and illustrating fables and folktales on his own. If you haven’t read any of his other works, do yourself a favor and fall in love with Jerry Pinkney!
Barb Middleton
Not many words but it took a while to read to grade 3 as we were studying the gorgeous pictures. Lots of detail going on here and one that shows not only the importance of preparing for tomorrow but the joy of music and being kind. The ants could have rejected the grasshopper but instead they welcome him with drink and he in return entertains during the lonely and long winter nights. Pinkney is amazing!
Emily Scheinman
Loved the tension and resolution between the grasshoper and the ants and the artwork invites you in to the world of these wonderful insects.
Karen Arendt
May 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations!
Jan 27, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-with-kids
No. Did not like this at all.
Jody Ruff
Jerry Pinkney is still my favorite Illustrator! He did a fabulous job with this Caldecott Medalist Winner!
Great lesson in this story about do not wait to the last minute to get things done!
Oct 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story and pictures
Theresa Worona
the best thing about this book is the use of multiple colors for the text and the designs, and how detailed the pictures are on each page. no design is the same on each page and the detail gets better and better. the story itself is more of a lesson for the readers to learn which is to not procrastinate just to party and have fun, because one day, the partying will be over and you will not have anything to fall back on. the grasshopper had to learn the hard way that the fun each season brings, a ...more
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Grades K-5
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Doran
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
When I read books like this one, I remember why I love reading picture books. This book is about how the grasshopper notices all the ants busy at work preparing for the winter, but he was so set on living in the moment and playing his music. When winter came he had no food or shelter and was all alone. He noticed how the ants were sharing their food and had a warm place to stay and realized he should have been more prepared. The queen ant offered him some tea and invited him in. The grasshopper ...more
There's some text at the beginning while the grasshopper asks the ants to join him in playing all spring, summer, and fall. But, then it goes wordless and we see the grasshopper shivering and cold as the ants still work underground. When the grasshopper knocks on their door will they let him in or leave him outside to freeze and learn his lesson because he didn't prepare?

The illustrations were pretty, but so busy! I found it hard to distinguish what was happening in some of the spreads. This wou
Jun 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed being reminded of this classic Aesop fable. Text is just fine, and tells story well, but the illustrations are difficult to decipher.

Also, it's important to read the author's notes at the end, and then view the end-piece which shows that the grasshopper has changed his approach to storing up and saving come spring.

Not as compelling as the Lion and the Mouse, which i totally enjoyed, but worthwhile nonetheless.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it liked it
A conversation starter for my 3 year old. We discussed the role that different people play in society and the feelings of the characters. We related the Grasshopper's lack of interest in work to her not wanting to put away her toys and discovered that it Mom would just turn on some music she would like chores way more! Mom got to hug her sweet girl and thank her for bringing joy and fun into an otherwise boring cold winter.
A well told tale with beautiful illustrations.

Meg McGregor
Feb 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lexi-victoria
This is a stunningly beautiful version of the classic Aesop's fable, The Grasshopper and the Ant.

The girls and I were simply mesmerized by the intricacies and details in the illustrations!

So then, why not five stars?

For me, there simply was not enough text. If my girls hadn't known the story, from my previous readings of the fable, they really wouldn't have understood.

And... why was the moral not written at the end of the story?
Jerry Pinkney's art is fantastic as always. Kids will love pouring over every detail of these lush watercolors. There's also a gentle lesson both about planning/procrastination and generosity that's less hamfisted than other retellings. ...more
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cvtc-kidlit
I really enjoyed this version of Aesop's Fable The Grasshopper & the Ants. Jerry Pinkney's lush illustrations and his reimagining of the grasshopper as a one-man-band is fun. I like that he gave the grasshopper a happy ending that readers can see. ...more
Lynn  Davidson
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A gorgeously illustrated retelling of the grasshopper - who wanted to play - and the ants - who worked and prepared. The end of this story goes better for the grasshopper than in the original version.
Oct 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Genre: Traditional Literature/Picture Book

Copyright Date: 2015

This was a beautiful story with great illustrations about not procrastinating. Can be used in the classroom to teach responsibility, teamwork, and "work first, then play." Good for grades K-5.
Jasmine Jacobs
This story would be useful to teach a lesson about working hard and the consequences of procrastinating. The moral of the story "don't put off what can be done today." ...more
Katrina Clohessy
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Retelling of an Aesop fable; beautiful, detailed line & watercolor illustrations from Jerry Pinkney.
Hααlεч ♥ Fιѕнεя
I thought the art style was beautiful.

There was a story to the images, but not much story in text. I would have liked there to have been bit more substance.
Clare Swapp
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This picture book reimagining of an Aesop’s fable, enhanced by beautiful illustrations, is great for preschool readers. The rich, detailed watercolor artwork perfectly complements the text and often caries more narrative weight than the words, as many pages are wordless. The text is solely dialogue, so the illustrations are crucial in telling the events of the story. The intricate artwork shows realistic depictions of nature scenes combined with whimsical additions, like the queen ant wearing a ...more
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
One of the most beautifully illustrated retelling of the Aesop's The Grasshopper And The Ants.

Jerry Pinkney is a special storyteller; his complex, intricate illustrations captivate and invite to thinking and imagining. Passionate about fables, as they have a moral we must remember, Pinkney is also preoccupied with all his characters. They all have engaging roles, studied human attributes and great facial expressions.

We all know that this fable's message is Don't put off for tomorrow what you can
Maria Hatzialexiou
I loved this book! I thought it was so cute and had such an important message. The grasshopper did not realize that once winter came he would have no home to keep warm in. All he wanted to do is play his music and not prepare for the winter months. The ants were kind enough to let him in their home to keep warm and offer him food and tea. I love that towards the end there were more pictures and no words. You really got to see and wonder what was happening on those pages! Great book!
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JERRY PINKNEY is one of children’s literature’s most time-honored artists. He has been illustrating children’s books for over 40 years and has more than 75 books to his credit. He has the rare distinction of being the recipient of five Caldecott Honor books and the winner of the Caldecott medal for The Lion and the Mouse. He has also won the Coretta Scott King Award five times, the Coretta Scott K ...more

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