It’s high summer in the meadow where Alice the ant and Gert the grasshopper live. Alice is hard at work preparing for winter, harvesting heavy loads of seeds. Meanwhile, Gert prefers to play, since winter is ages away. Gert dances through the long days of summer, singing, performing, and creating art out of flowers and leaves. Alice tries to convince Gert to work, but Gert wants to have fun—and to entertain Alice, too! She hates to see Alice work so hard.
When winter arrives, Gert’s nest is cold and her food supplies are low. But rather than refusing to share, Alice acknowledges the value of Gert’s work and the beauty of the art that lightened her load. Alice repays Gert’s kindness by sharing her hard-won food.
Based on the classic story of the ant and grasshopper, this is a modern fable with a heartwarming twist that values diverse contributions and honors friendship and the power of art.
HELAINE BECKER is an award-winning writer of more than 90 books, including Sloth at the Zoom and Worms for Breakfast. She also writes for children's magazines and kids television, and presents and performs at schools across Canada and the US. Helaine lives in Toronto, Ontario.
DENA SEIFERLING is an illustrator and needle-felt artist living in Calgary, Alberta, with her husband, two children and two dogs. Alice and Gert is her second picture book. Her first book, King Mouse, written by Cary Fagan, was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award.
"Graceful, kind, and altogether soothing."
"Beautifully illustrated... this retelling retains the original story, but it feels fresh."
"In this delightful twist on Aesop’s fable of the Ant and Grasshopper, Helaine Becker acknowledges the value of hard work, but also friendship, goodness, and creativity... This book would be great as a read-aloud for Kindergarten and Grade 1 students, leading to discussions of our own unique gifts."
"The messages are strikingly worthwhile... [The illustrations] create profound scenes that are steeped in atmosphere and characters evocative with feeling."
"The story makes for an ideal read aloud with young children... As the story is a fresh take on a traditional fable, it ends with a subtle moral about kindness, hard work, and friendship. The book also celebrates diversity and recognizes that each individual possesses something of value."