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One Hundred Hungry Ants
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About the Author

Bonnie MacKain has had illustrations featured in Cricket and Ladybug. Elinor Pinczes and Randall Enos have collaborated together on another book for children, My Full Moon Is Square. Ms. Pinczes is the author of several other books for young readers. She lives with her husband in Bozeman, Montana. Mr. Enos's illustrations have appeared in books, magazines, and newspapers for more than forty-five years. He lives in Easton, Connecticut, with his wife.

Reviews

A first-time author and illustrator are off to an impressive start in this spirited story, whose message might well be ``divide and conquer.'' Pinczes's bouncy rhymed verse introduces 100 ants marching in single file en route to a picnic, where ``There'll be lots of yummies / for our hungry tummies, / A hey and a hi dee ho!'' But the littlest ant decides they're moving too slowly, and suggests a new formation--``with 2 lines of 50 / we'd get there soon, I know.'' But not, however, soon enough: as he spies other animals scurrying by with food, he fears there will be nothing left to eat. Hoping to speed the pace, he directs his fellow marchers to break into four columns of 25; then five rows of 20; and finally 10 lines of 10. The subliminal math lesson is a bonus for youngsters at the older edge of the intended audience, while readers of any age will relish the unexpected ending. Reminiscent of woodblocks, MacKain's illustrations work superbly on a child's level--the unexpected pairing of sophisticated art and lighthearted text lends this book particular distinction. The comical facial expressions of these ravenous creatures, rendered in unusual and subtle hues, reinforce the tale's winning drollery. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)

"A first-time author and illustrator are off to an impressive start in this spirited story . . . The unexpected pairing of sophisticated art and light-hearted text lends this book particular distinction." Publishers Weekly

A rhyming text describes the progress of one hundred ants marching toward a picnic. To travel faster, one ant suggests dividing into two lines of fifty, then four lines of twenty-five, and finally ten lines of ten. Their frantic reorganization takes so long that the picnic is gone by the time they arrive. The illustrations, which look like linoleum cuts, use a pleasing palette and energetic lines to depict ants with highly individual characters.
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