Posted by Venus on Friday, August 19, 2016
Labels: picture book review
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Release Date: July 7, 2016
One very power-hungry grasshopper demands a throne that will allow him to loom over all of his bug subjects. He summons them all and commands them all to bring him the biggest rocks they can carry. When one little bug can only contribute a small pebble, it is rejected out of hand. But what does the King grasshopper need when his perfect throne is precariously wobbly? Why, a little pebble of course.
Reminding me a lot of Pixar's A Bug's Life, this story is about one serious dictator and his underlings who manage to bring about equality by simply helping him out when he is about to get hurt. It's such a nice sentiment. And so completely contrary to real life. With kid's books, it is a tough balance to write nice little morality tales that teach things like equality and being honest about how the world actually works. I know this is the cynic in me, but I kind of wish someone had told me that even though karma is an interesting theory, it's simply not true. There are people out there that treat other people badly and they don't suddenly become nice when you treat them nice. They also don't get karmic justice either. My biggest bully as a kid lives a very good life now (yeah, I Facebook stalked him) with a good job and a family. One would think a kid who went around punching girls for no reason would end up somewhere other than a corner office, but no. The trick is to just walk away and say, screw you, if you treat me that way I'm not getting any rocks for you. Ever. Come talk to me when you feel like apologizing for being mean. It took me a few years as a kid to figure that one out. You mean I don't have to hang out with people who boss me around and treat me horribly?
Of course, as with anything that strikes a chord, I may be reading too much into this. The illustrations were quite lovely and I do like the message of equality. It's just that the morality part of the story felt as fantasy-like as the anthropomorphized insects.