cover image What Does an Anteater Eat?

What Does an Anteater Eat?

Ross Collins. Nosy Crow, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0591-6

A straightforward question gets twisted into a silly resolution in this latest from Collins (Singing Dad and Other Stories). “I’m hungry,” announces a bushy-tailed, long-nosed anteater at the outset; the problem is that it doesn’t know what it’s supposed to eat. (“I know this sounds odd,” the polite but befuddled protagonist admits.) Unfortunately, when he tries asking other animals for help, their self-absorption limits their ability to advise. A sloth is too busy lying around. A toucan and self-declared “melon expert” suggests watermelon (anatomical differences pose an insurmountable challenge for the long-snouted hero). And a python, lumpy with earlier meals, recommends that “you chew your food.” Comic tension builds as ants march quietly through the spreads, their count increasing each time a new animal is approached (a subtle thread that eagle-eyed young readers will enjoy following). Expressive creatures done in watercolor and charcoal display distinct personalities, especially the likable but oblivious star. When the anteater at last stumbles upon an anthill beneath a banana tree, it seems like the tale can only end one way—until the scramming ants reveal an unexpected conclusion. Ages 2–5. [em](July) [/em]