One of the most delightful little books that I’ve read in recent weeks is Grasshopper on the Road, a ‘Level 2’ book by Arnold Lobel. I just had to share my favourite story. It’s called ‘The Club’:
Grasshopper walked quickly along the road.
He saw a sign on the side of a tree.
The sign said MORNING IS BEST.
Soon Grasshopper saw another sign.
It said THREE CHEERS FOR MORNING.
Grasshopper saw a group of beetles.
They were singing and dancing.
They were carrying more signs.
“Good morning,” said Grasshopper.
“Yes,” said one of the beetles.
“It is a good morning. Every morning is a good morning!”
The beetle carried a sign.
It said MAKE MINE MORNING.
“This is a meeting of the We Love Morning Club,” said the beetle. “Every day we get together to celebrate another bright, fresh morning. Grasshopper, do you love morning?” asked the beetle.
“Oh yes,” said Grasshopper.
“Hooray!” shouted all the beetles.
“Grasshopper loves morning!”
“I knew it,” said the beetle. “I could tell by your kind face. You are a morning lover.”
The beetles made Grasshopper a wreath of flowers.
They gave him a sign that said MORNING IS TOPS.
“Now,” they said, “Grasshopper is in our club.”
“When does the clover sparkle with dew?” asked a beetle.
“In the morning!” cried all the other beetles.
“When is the sunshine yellow and new?” asked the beetle.
In the morning!” cried all the other beetles.
They turned somersaults and stood on their heads.
They danced and sang.
“M-O-R-N-I-N-G spells morning!”
“I love afternoon too,” said Grasshopper.
The beetles stopped singing and dancing.
“What did you say?” they asked.
“I said that I loved afternoon,” said Grasshopper.
All the beetles were quiet.
“And night is very nice,” said Grasshopper.
“Stupid,” said a beetle.
He grabbed the wreath of flowers.
“Dummy,” said another beetle.
He snatched the sign from Grasshopper.
“Anyone who loves afternoon and night can never, never be in our club!” said a third beetle.
“UP WITH MORNING!” shouted all the beetles.
They waved their signs and marched away.
Grasshopper was alone.
He saw the yellow sunshine.
He saw the dew sparkling on the clover.
And he went on down the road.
– Arnold Lobel, ‘The Club’ in Grasshopper on the Road (New York: HarperCollins, 1978), 8–16.