illustrated by Chris Raschka
Candlewick Press, 2008
I didn't intend for this to be insect week at A Year of Reading. It just happened.
Today's book finds Jimmy Grasshopper suing Nestor and Abigail Ant because, after a summer of providing them with entertainment, they refused to share the harvest with him. It's a question of respect, and it's a meditation on the value of art in society.
"Am I not worthy of my bread? Does not the work of my heart and soul earn respect? I am an artist. Is there no place for beauty, no solace for the ear, no hope for the heart? Must everything be in the marketplace? Doesn't the marketplace itself need and deserve beautification?"
This is not a version of Aesop's tale for the youngest readers and listeners. Instead, it might make a great gift for the artists and lawyers in your life. It's a beautiful little book with an important message, especially in these times when all eyes are on the marketplace.
Reviewed by Jules at 7-Imp in June.