cover image Walt Disney's: The Grasshopper and the Ants

Walt Disney's: The Grasshopper and the Ants

Margaret Wise Brown, Aesop, Larry Moore. Random House Disney, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56282-534-8

Well before Goodnight, Moon , Brown retold a series of classic stories for Walt Disney, among them this kindly version of the classic Aesop's fable. Moore's intensely colored, filmic illustrations magnify a miniature world and add an art deco flavor. His top-hatted, unsinkably jaunty grasshopper breezes onto the summer landscape, fiddling and singing--and ignored, for the most part, by the diligent ants. A particularly effective spread shows the industrious insects slicing carrots with a crosscut saw and sending radishes down a wooden chute. After the first snowfall, of course, the happy-go-lucky hopper's tune changes and, frozen and remorseful, he knocks at the ants' door and asks for help. Lessening the severity of the original fable, Brown reverses the ending: her ants welcome the grasshopper, warm him up with a bowl of ``hot corn soup'' and hire him to be the anthill's resident entertainer. All ages. (Sept.)