Book Review: Grasshoppers Dance by Juliette MacIver, Illustrated by Nina Rycroft

Available in bookstores nationwide.

I had the pleascv_grasshoppers-danceure not so long ago of reviewing another one of Juliette MacIver’s books, Yak and Gnu, which has become a firm favourite of some of the younger members of our family. Juliette has written numerous children’s books, and was a finalist in the 2011 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards with Marmaduke Duck and the Marmalade Jam and also in 2014 with another wonderful book Toucan Can. She is based in Wellington, and is a mother of four. Juliette majored in Linguistics at Victoria University and has a diploma in teaching English.

Nina Rycroft is an award winning illustrator and lives in Auckland with her husband and two children. She is also a director and co-founder of the Illustration School in Auckland.

On fun, sunny summer days
One bunny drummer plays.
On the big bass drum……..
A somersault bunny
In the summer-sun-sun!
And the grasshoppers dance
To the summertime hum.

The story is a simple one with the bunny beating the drum, while others dance and frolic around. The grasshoppers dance while others play instruments a beat that we can only imagine. We have a hawk playing an organ, a husky playing a tin whistle and so on.  The rhythm and style of the writing lends itself to singing and dancing. Sadly, I did neither while reading this wonderful book to our 4-year-old granddaughter – she was under the weather, lying lethargically on a beanbag. She did perk up though as the story progressed, making lots of comments about what might also be going on. A child’s imagination can be pretty spectacular at times.

Grasshoppers Dance is a wonderful book and the illustrations are amazing, I just couldn’t get over the detail of them. They are quite stunning.

Reviewed by Christine Frayling

Grasshoppers Dance
by Juliette MacIver, Illustrated by Nina Rycroft
Published by Scholastic NZ
ISBN 9781775432241

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