Pros:wonderful illustrations, talks about how being a bully is wrong not matter to who/what
Cons:queen ant smokes
The Bottom Line: This ant bully learns a lesson through an interesting story and wonderfully detailed illustrations
When I saw The Ant Bully at my local library and knew that a movie by the same name had recently been released I decided to pick it up. I was surprised to find that noone had reviewed it yet and decided to change that fact.
This is a story of a boy, Lucas, who has a bully that picks on him, Sid. So Lucas decides to be a bully to the ants. But they don't like it so they capture him and take him into their anthill where a wizard ant shrinks him. He is put on trial for his deeds and sentenced to work as an ant. He has to help gather food, defend the colony, and serve the queen. He starts to make friends with some of the ants. He is sent on a task to get candy and he gets into some trouble, but he does make it back. The queen decides that for his bravery he can be his normal size again.
But when he is back to himself he meets up with Sid. Lucas has learned his lesson, but will Sid? You'll have to read it to find out.
The book is written and illustrated by John Nickle and is geared toward children aged 4-8. Hopefully younger than that don't ever have to deal with bullies. The story is written in an omnipotent third person. There is some dialogue but it is mostly description.
Usually there is a sentence or two with an illustration above. But sometimes one page is only an illustration and the page opposite has only text, like 6-10 lines of it. The text and illustrations are always separate, with each illustration being surrounded by a double black line border.
The illustrations are done in acrylic and are really detailed. The ants look so anatomically correct with little claw jaws and antennae. They have jointed legs and bodies. They are black so my two year old son kept calling them spiders, but they really do look very much like ants.
There is silliness to some of the scenes. The queen ant wears fur lined clothing and a little gold crown. She lies on a pretty pink couch and has lots of candy at her disposal. She even smokes a cigarette in a cigarette holder (the only thing I didn't like). The wizard ant is very odd looking with multi colors and a wizard hat.
Overall I thought this was a really good book that teaches some lessons about being a bully to both Lucas and hopefully young readers. The illustrations are amazing and the story is one I believe children will enjoy. You can't help but be a little happy when the ant judge announces he is "G U I L T Y !" I recommend this one. At 32 pages it a great length for a fun read.
This has been my entry in msmorvay's Resurrecting the Oldies Book Write Off.
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