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Thinking About Ants

by Barbara  Brenner
Illustrated by Carol Schwartz

Published by Mondo, 1997
32 pages
ISBN: 1-57255-210-7

Ages 2 - 5

If Margaret Wise Brown had ever turned her hand toward writing science books, she might have come up with something like this. In a compelling introduction to ants, Barbara Brenner reaches her young audience with just the right combination of objectivity and empathy: "In the ant nest, everyone has a job. What would you do if you were an ant? Would you hunt for food for everyone to share? Would you help to build the nest? Could you carry something twice as big as you? Would you lick the ant eggs and feed the little larvae that hatch out? Would you help an ant come out from a cocoon? The ants that do these things are worker ants." Her words encourage young listeners to "think about ants" as the title suggests, but to think about them in the context of a systematic, scientific approach that provides basic information about physiology and behavior. Carol Schwartz's realistic gouache paintings give us an appealing close-up view of the ant's world, showing us some things we can observe first-hand, such as the shape of an ant's body or the fact some ants live inside people's houses, and other things we can't: the inside of an ant nest or a queen laying eggs, for instance. Both text and pictures are so clear and vivid that the book will make an excellent selection for reading aloud in preschool storytimes, as well as an obvious choice for sidewalk scientists. CCBC categories: The Natural World (KTH; June 9)  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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