cover image An Anty-War Story

An Anty-War Story

Tony Ross. Andersen Press USA, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5415-3564-0

Sweet-natured Douglas is the only ant in Antworld with a name; in the nursery, all the other ants just have “A” on their cribs. He yearns to fit in and be one of the many ants who carry food into the anthill in “a beautiful line,” but he has a different destiny: he, too, will march in a beautiful line, but as a soldier ant. Wearing a uniform and carrying a rifle, he will defend Antworld, making it “a safer place for all the little ants.” When war does come, however, it is a horrible human war that obliterates the anthill with an artillery barrage and a gray, blurry “BANG” that explodes across an entire spread. Ross (Our Kid) begins with a lighthearted, almost reportorial opening and watercolor scenes that are both whimsical and striking, surrounding the busy, cupcake-carrying ants with tones of red, brown, blue, and green. But the shift into war is so abrupt, ending with a somber wordless tribute to fallen soldiers, that the overall effect is disjointed and jarring. Ages 7–8. [em](Sept.) [/em]