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Hey, Little Ant Hardcover – July 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Tricycle Press (July 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1883672546
  • ISBN-13: 978-1883672546
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This parable about mercy and empathy asks readers to look at life from an insect's point of view. The text consists of the lyrics of a song performed by the Hooses (Phillip Hoose is the author of It's Our World, Too!; Hannah Hoose is his teenage daughter); the melody is appended. A boy converses with the tiny ant he wants to "squish." Pleading, "You are very much like me," the ant explains he has a family and community dependent upon him. The kid, in turn, argues, "Anyone knows ants can't feel," and he even cites peer pressure: "But all my friends squish ants all day.... They're looking at meAthey're listening too./ They all say I should squish you." Tilley's (Dinosaur Dinner) cartoony color sketches supply welcome comic relief from this labored exchange. A bipedal ant approaching a picnic is shown wearing a burglar's mask, a bulging burlap sack slung over his shoulder; the boy is pictured reading by flashlight under the covers, while the ant nestles between his own two children to read them a bedtime book. The Hooses signal their intent to inspire discussion by ending with a query to the reader: "What do you think that kid should do?" While some baby boomer parents may appreciate the Hooses' earnestness, it's doubtful that their kids will. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2-Based on a song, this occasionally stilted narrative has a message: respect all creatures and their right to live. A bespectacled ant, loaded down with two shopping bags, is confronted by a human youngster intent on stepping on him. Before the boy can carry out his threat, the ant begs him to reconsider. Each double-page spread is devoted to one character expressing his opinion in the life vs. death debate. The brightly colored, full-page cartoon illustrations, rendered in pen, ink, and watercolor, capably convey the obvious differences and the surprising similarities of the two main characters. The boy is urged to look at things from the ant's point of view before deciding on his course of action. The tale's conclusion is open-ended as readers are asked, "What do you think that kid should do?" The accompanying picture shows a huge sneaker posed above the tiny ant. The music and verses appear on the last page of this tepid tale that could lead to discussions concerning bullies and/or the protection of other species.
Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Mr. Hoose is an award-winning author of books, essays, stories, songs, and articles. Although he first wrote for adults, he turned his attention to children and young adults in part to keep up with his own daughters.

His children's book, "Hey, Little Ant" (Tricycle Press, 1998), inspired by his daughter Ruby and co-authored by his daughter Hannah, received a Jane Addams Children's Book Award.

His "It's Our World, Too! Stories of Young People Who Are Making a Difference" (Little, Brown, 1993) won a Christopher Award for "artistic excellence in books affirming the highest values of the human spirit."

His most recent book, "The Race to Save the Lord God Bird" (Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, 2004) received the Boston Globe Horn Book Award and was named a Top Ten American Library Association Best Book for Young Adults among many additional honors. "We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History" (Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, 2001) was a finalist for the National Book Award. In addition, it was dubbed a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and an International Reading Association Teacher's Choice.

PHILLIP HOOSE was born in South Bend, Indiana, and grew up in the towns of South Bend, Angola, and Speedway, Indiana. He was educated at Indiana University and the Yale School of Forestry. He lives in Portland, Maine.

Customer Reviews

It is a wonderful book for elementary students!
Amberose
I loved this book and the intention the author had to encourage children to consider the moral of the story.
Shopper
It's a wonderful lesson to teach compassion to all creatures.
M. Mullender

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Gruener on December 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
"Hey, Little Ant," by Phillip and Hannah Hoose is one of my favorite children's books. Based on a real-life experience the author had as he watched his toddler squishing ants one day, this book is as powerful a teaching tool as I've seen come along in a very long time. In this classic, a Kid threatens to squish the book's hero Ant and a clever dialogue ensues. Allowed to plead its case, the Ant explains to the boy that he, too, has a special reason for being. Through cleverly rhyming verse, set to musical notes if you'd rather sing it, the Ant tries to negotiate for its life, citing the "Golden Rule" to solidify its case. The beauty of this tale is that it ends with a dilemma: "what do you think that Kid should do?" Leaving it open-ended is a tremendous way to generate dialogue with children. It gives them the opportunity to think the problem through and offer problem-solving solutions; it serves to empower them by giving them a voice. At a time in our society when schools are reluctant to teach values through character education, along comes a little book with a powerful message. As a counselor, I used it to teach middle schoolers how to deal with the people who are ANTS in their lives - who might bite them with their words or try to poison them with their actions - focusing on characteristics we might need like Awareness, Negotiation, Tolerance and Sensitivity. I give "Hey, Little Ant" as many stars as it can get and more. Don't miss this one; you will NOT be disappointed!
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By michelle m gargano on January 11, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This wonderful book gives the reader a great feeling for this poor ant . This little ant has to negotiate for his life!! The only way to make the kid with the big shoe know how it feels to be squished is to turn the tables and make him realize what it feels like to be under an Ants' foot. This book is a must have. It teaches compassion, negotiation, and how to see the world through someonelses eyes.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Kid: "Hey, little ant . . . ./See my shoe, can you see that?/Well, now, it's gonna squish you flat!"
This situation opens the book. The story then evolves into a dialogue between ant and kid to decide the ant's fate.
The kid feels like he can do what he wants if the ant cannot talk back, but his ant can. The ant begs for his life. Then the kid argues that ants don't feel, and no one will miss him. The ant points out that he will be missed. The kid argues that ants steal from people, and the ant protests that they only take a little. The kid says that his friends expect him to squish the ant, and the ant asks the kid to exchange places in his mind. "If you were me and I were you,/What would you want me to do?"
The book ends with "What do you think that kid should do?" This question is a nice set-up for a thoughtful discussion with your child. Unlike many books that proclaim the correct judgment, this one certainly suggests that the ant not be squished but leaves the question open. You can ask how your child's answer might change if other creatures are involved (a mosquito, a worm, a caterpillar, a butterfly, and so forth).
The rhyming scheme in the book is also set to music in the back, so you can also play and sing the book together.
Phillip Hoose is on the staff of the Nature Conservancy. His daughter and co-author, Hannah, was 9 when they wrote this book together. So another pleasure of changing perspectives here is to realize that parents and children can write books and songs together!
The illustrations are very wonderful. In several sequences, the two page spreads are developed vertically rather than horizontally. Ms. Tilley does this very well to portray the giant kid looming over the ant, and later the imaginary giant ant dominating the kid.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a third grade teacher in Illinois, my colleagues and I found this book not only an entertaining story, but a writing prompt for a persuasive essay that our students eagerly approached. To squish or not to squish! The kids just ate it up. We had quite the debate in our classroom!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Shopper on August 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I loved this book and the intention the author had to encourage children to consider the moral of the story. Also for a children's book it is well written with amusing rhymes. The kids also loved hearing this story. The only problem was this - they got absolutely the wrong message from it!

The book presents two arguments - the ant pleading for its life, and the boy who questions the value of the ant's life. But the author wrote the boy's side of the story so pleasingly that my kids far more enjoyed siding with the boy than with the ant, despite explanation, to my complete despair! My young listeners were quite young, ages 2-3, so perhaps this book would be better for a slightly older child.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amberose on January 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book about an ant who has to convince a boy why he should not squish him with his shoe. It sends a wonderful message to children that you should treat others how you would want to be treated. This rhyming text is very comical to read and the illustrations are excellent. It is a wonderful book for elementary students!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Green on November 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I am a 3rd grade teacher, and I use this book in my classroom to teach about bullying, peer pressure (the boy's friends are encouraging him to squish the ant), and empathy. My students love it! I wish I could find a poster of the page where the ant is looming over the boy and asking "If you were me, and I were you, what would you want me to do?" What an incredible lesson for kids! The best part is that the book ends with the shoe looming over the ant and leaves the ending up to the reader. Kids love writing (or just inventing) their own endings! GREAT BOOK!
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