cover image It's an Orange Aardvark!

It's an Orange Aardvark!

Michael Hall. Greenwillow, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-225206-7

Hall's fourth bold, graphic picture book follows a crew of carpenter ants (you can tell by their hardhats) as they worry about what may or may not be outside their stump. One of the braver ants begins to chew holes in the stump (represented by small die-cut circles) to the delight of three of the others. "Like a window!" says one. "Sweet!" another chimes in. But a fifth ant is a worrier: "What if there's an aardvark out there? Aardvarks are gray and sneaky." When the hole reveals a spot of orange rather than gray, he quickly reshapes his hypothesis: "Oh no. It's an orange aardvark!" As additional holes reveal blue and red, the ant continues to assume the worst: "Oh no, no, no! It's a pajama-wearing orange aardvark and... it's carrying a bottle of ketchup!" Amid the hilarity and hyperventilation, the book also serves as an entertaining introduction to the colors of the rainbow, as the ants put each color in context ("Red like a fire truck") that readers will readily grasp. Ages 4%E2%80%938. Agent: Anna Olswanger, Liza Dawson Associates. (Apr.)