Ants for the Youngest Reader

Ants by Melissa Stewart is part of the National Geographic Readers series. That means the lucky author has access to the fantastic photographs available in the National Geographic archives. Right away I recognized a couple of photographs by ant specialist and National Geographic photographer, Dr. Mark Moffett. What a visual treat!Ants-stewart

The text is both spunky and age appropriate. Even better, all the information is current and accurate. In the margins are extremely silly riddles and puns, sure to catch the interest of young children.

Most of the different kinds of ants are identified, but the names aren’t central to the text. If the child is curious about the ants in the photograph, he or she can find out what kind of ant it is. Otherwise the child can continue reading without interruption.

In the back is a novel visual glossary showing a photograph of an ant colony, for example, with the word and definition below it. I really like the idea, although Stewart could have easily added more words. I expect she didn’t because space was a constraint. Inside of the back cover is an activity to do an “Ants Dance” to celebrate reading the whole book, which is a wonderful addition.

If you are looking for a beginning reader book about ants, I strongly recommend this one. It is excell-Ant. 🙂

Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (January 12, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426306083
ISBN-13: 978-1426306082


Nonfiction Monday is a blogging celebration of nonfiction books for kids. For more information, stop by Anastasia Suen’s Nonfiction Monday page. This week’s post is at Three Turtles and Their Pet Librarian.

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