Hey, Little Ant

Phillip M. Hoose, Author, Philip M. Hoose, Author, Hannah Hoose, Author Tricycle Press $15.99 (30p) ISBN 978-1-883672-54-6
This parable about mercy and empathy asks readers to look at life from an insect's point of view. The text consists of the lyrics of a song performed by the Hooses (Phillip Hoose is the author of It's Our World, Too!; Hannah Hoose is his teenage daughter); the melody is appended. A boy converses with the tiny ant he wants to ""squish."" Pleading, ""You are very much like me,"" the ant explains he has a family and community dependent upon him. The kid, in turn, argues, ""Anyone knows ants can't feel,"" and he even cites peer pressure: ""But all my friends squish ants all day.... They're looking at me--they're listening too./ They all say I should squish you."" Tilley's (Dinosaur Dinner) cartoony color sketches supply welcome comic relief from this labored exchange. A bipedal ant approaching a picnic is shown wearing a burglar's mask, a bulging burlap sack slung over his shoulder; the boy is pictured reading by flashlight under the covers, while the ant nestles between his own two children to read them a bedtime book. The Hooses signal their intent to inspire discussion by ending with a query to the reader: ""What do you think that kid should do?"" While some baby boomer parents may appreciate the Hooses' earnestness, it's doubtful that their kids will. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 06/29/1998
Release date: 07/01/1998
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