Posts tagged ‘ants’

ANALYZING ANTS

Ants: Amazing Facts about Ants with Pictures for Kid

Written by Hathai Ross

The author packs a lot of information into this reference book about ants. Many kids enjoy watching them while exploring outdoors or under glass in an ant farm.

These fascinating creatures live in all parts of the world except Antarctica. More than 12,000 species have been alive for millions of years. Ants live in colonies and are social insects with designated roles. Broadly speaking, there are queens, workers, and male ants. The queen is the largest in the colony whose only job is to lay eggs. Male ants’ only responsibility is to mate with the queen. Worker ants feed the larvae, defend the colony, and remove the waste.

Ross spends a bit of time describing Argentine Ants, Pavement Ants, House Ants, Carpenter Ants, Crazy Ants and Fire Ants. The author describes their appearance, environment, daily life and interesting characteristics. Amazing facts include their exceptional strength, being able to carry twenty times their weight, and the fact that they fight till the death. Ants usually crawl in lines because they are following the pheromones of ants that have crawled before them. There are one million ants for every single human living on earth.

I would have liked to see more photos included in the book. At times the text begins to sound like a list of facts rather than a story about ants, but this book is an excellent reference for children who are interested in these fascinating creatures that are all around us. Recommended especially for young scientists in the eight to twelve age range. Good starting point for a research project.

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LIFE LESSONS

Kids Book: Judge Monkey and other Stories (Illustrated Moral Stories for Children)

Written by D.R. Tara

Judge&Monkey,pic

Five stories from varied cultures which illustrate moral codes of behavior. In the first story, Judge Monkey is asked by two hungry cats to settle a dispute. Coming upon a piece of bread, they want to know how they can possibly divide it equally. The clever monkey offers to be an impartial judge but tricks both of them. Our two hungry cats learn the moral the cooperation between friends is better than fighting. The second tale about a tiger, farmer and jackal is much longer than the first. The characters learn that despite appearances one must never give up because a clever person can get out of the most difficult situations. Two other tales center on a money lender and a farmer and a foolish student. My favorite story is the one about the King Cobra snake and the ants. The cobra is puzzled when the ants appear unafraid of him. Working together the ants sting his scales, proving that a bully can be overcome when those who are oppressed unite against the bully.

Each story is previewed with a large color illustration depicting the main characters in the tale. These assist a young reader in interpreting the moral. While the tales are targeted for ages nine through twelve, I believe the length of the book is more appropriate for readers in the five through eight age group. Suggested use is a read aloud followed by discussion or a bedtime story.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

The Chronicles of Ragnar Rabbit Book 1 How I Got My Name

Written and illustrated by Melinda Kinsman

Ragnar Rabbit,pic

Funny and clever early reader done in the format of a graphic novel. Protagonist is a stuffed rabbit nicknamed Raggy; the real story is how he got his name Ragnar. One day Raggy’s human owner, Max, goes to the library with his grandpa. They return home with a book about Vikings. Max and Raggy begin to act out Viking adventures. Max builds a Viking ship with the help of his parents and Raggy.

The next day, they are about to launch their ship when Raggy is whisked away by a vulture. I won’t give away the plot, but I can say Raggy will encounter a Ninja, and a helicopter before being kidnapped again. Max is disconsolate; the family searches for two weeks. At the end of the story, readers are still unaware of the whereabouts of Raggy, now named Rangar in honor of a famous Viking warrior. What has happened to the dedicated stuffed rabbit? Will he be reunited with Max? Guess we will find out in Book 2.

The simple vocabulary and speech balloons allow early readers to master the text and follow the emotions of the characters, including the adorable ants who comment and have their own little adventures while following Max and Raggy. Nice bedtime story, but particularly recommended for reluctant readers or as a beginning reader for ages four through seven.

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