Review of The Wonderful Wisdom of Ants

The Wonderful Wisdom of Ants The Wonderful Wisdom of Ants
by Philip Bunting; illus. by the author
Primary    Crown    32 pp.
3/24    9780593567784    $17.99
Library ed.  9780593567791    $20.99
e-book ed.  9780593567807    $10.99

This overview of ants combines cleverly designed graphics and a funny text to convey major concepts about the familiar insects. Expressive-eyed ants march across the pages, first in a show of their large numbers and then to illustrate key ant behaviors. These are succinctly introduced as “Ants love: Family. Micronaps. Recycling. Helping others. Being caught on camera carrying stuff way bigger than they are.” Descriptions of ant colonies, cooperation, communication, and ants’ role in creating soil follow. The page design is thoughtful and effective; one especially impressive double-page spread describing how ants communicate through pheromones features a sequenced scenario in which doughnut sprinkles are encountered by a single ant, who then leaves a pheromone trail to communicate the food location to the colony. Humorous yet still scientifically spot-on phrases pop up throughout (“Drone. Male. Does no housework. Takes to sky. Reproduces. Drops dead”). The final pages connect ant behaviors to another social species—humans—so that readers can be like ants and “leave the Earth in better shape than it was when you got here.”

Pubissue-From the March/April 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford
Danielle J. Ford is a Horn Book reviewer and an associate professor of Science Education at the University of Delaware.

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