Wednesday, July 20, 2011

First Post: Ant and Grasshopper, an artfully told tale


I have debated for weeks about how I would begin this blog: what theme, what books, what program. When I read Luli Gray's "Ant and Grasshopper" I was so pleasantly surprised by the book, that I knew I had finally found my first post.

Newly released in 2011 by Margaret K. McElderry Books, "Ant and Grasshopper" is a picture book for ages 4-8 written by Luli Gray and illustrated by Giuliano Ferri.

I was expecting an awkwardly told fable (because fables usually do seem awkwardly told), Luli's story about a numerically-inclined ant and a singing grasshopper who learn to appreciate each others' talents is pitch-perfect. Gray's story is elegantly told. I loved how this book sounded out loud. The characters, plot, and timing are perfect for young children. My 4 year-old barely uttered a peep. Ferri's illustrations, with their old-world details and blue/amber hues, are soulful. They really add a seriousness to this insect drama.



Suggested Program (4-6 ages)

READ:
Ant and Grasshopper by Luli Gray, illustrated by Giuliano Ferri

Counting and Marching Song:
1,2,3,4 I made a batch of hot potatoes, dropped them on the floor

5,6,7,8 I smashed 'm into mashed potatoes, plopped them on a plate

9,10,11,12 The children ate 'm up, and now they want french fries!
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13 FRENCH FRIES! (jump up and wiggle "french fry" fingers)
(repeat)


READ:
I Saw an Ant on the Railroad TrackI Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track by Joshua Prince, illustrated by Macky Pamintuan

ACTIVITY:
(Builds narrative skills and creative thinking)

What adventure will ant and grasshopper or ant and the railroad man have next? Young children can draw a series of pictures to illustrate their "sequel" and then narrate the adventure aloud.

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