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)

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)

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

(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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