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AN ANT'S DAY OFF
Written by Bonny Becker
Illustrated by Nina Laden
ISBN# 0-6898-2274-X (Hardcover)
Ages 4-8
32 Pages
Published by Simon & Schuster 2003



"Never stop. Never tarry.
An ant who wastes time
Will never marry!"

Bart the sand ant has heard these words for as long as he can remember. Never in the history of antdom has an ant taken a day off. Still Bart can't help but wonder what it might be like to see what goes on out there in the big, wide world. "They'll never let you back in!" warns his best friend, Floyd, about leaving the nest. But Bart leaves his mounds of work behind, and discovers just how important it is for an ant to find some time for himself every now and then.

Bonny Becker has written the perfect story for our hectic, over-scheduled lives. Nina Laden's illustrations bring the bustling insect world to life with humor and verve.

"Bart the sand ant has spent his whole life moving mounds of sand from one tunnel to another in an underground nest. He and the other ants have never seen the sky or felt the rain. One day, Bart feels the outside world beckoning him, and he flees the nest without being noticed. He quickly finds out that the world is full of wonder and joy, and of danger, as he narrowly escapes becoming lunch for a frog and almost drowns in a rain puddle. Bart begins to regret his escapade and heads home. The entrance guard questions him but then reassures him that "sometimes an ant just needs to look at the sky" and looks the other way as Bart gets back to work. After listening all summer to his tales of the sun, rain, and bees, fellow sand ant Floyd decides to go exploring and Bart joins him. The richly colored illustrations of the outside world contrast sharply with the browns and tans of the nest. Deep green grass and bright yellow flowers are seen from an ant's perspective. The insects are dressed as people, complete with hard hats and safety glasses. The message-that it's good to take time for oneself-is not subtle or indirect. Purchase where books with a message are in demand."
-School Library Journal


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