cover image I Made These Ants Some Underpants!

I Made These Ants Some Underpants!

Derick Wilder, illus. by K-Fai Steele. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-79720-216-7

Having proved their facility with tush humor in Does a Bulldozer Have a Butt?, creators Wilder and Steele now tap into another rich comic vein: underpants. The protagonist of this outing, a googly-eyed child portrayed with light brown skin, receives a days-of-the-week underwear set and immediately seeks to outfit others. When Mom gently demurs, rhyming lines trace the kid, who “gathered up my art supplies/ and did some calculation,” diving into a fancifully thorough campaign to bestow underpants near and far—and even when the recipient’s derriere may be difficult to discern. Among the newly underpanted are a line of ants given tiny pairs, an octopus with “six legs too many,” a python offered a long knitted tube, and a boomerang and a tortoise whose pairs are emblazed with “Speedy Skivvies.” Confident throughout, the child is equally sanguine when family and friends, portrayed with various skin tones, don’t embrace the cause. “If underpants are optional, then I don’t need a pair,” the child declares, jeté-ing away with a bare backside in full view—and giving readers one last act of chutzpah to cheer. Ages 3–5. Author’s agent: Jenna Pocius, Red Fox Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Erica Rand Silverman, Stimola Literary. (May)