Author and Illustrator: Megan C. Brown
Publisher: Megan C. Brown
ISBN: 9781493584956

There are as many as ten quadrillion living individual ants on earth at any moment! Ant colonies consume more protein that lions, tigers, and bears combined,” Megan C. Brown writes in her children’s book, Ant Adaptation.

This letter-sized paperback book contains forty-two pages and is targeted toward young preschool to early elementary school aged children, especially those who like animals and insects. With no profanity, scary scenes, or violence, the illustrations are large, usually covering the right side of the page while one or two sentences of black wording against a stark white background are on the left side.

Brown’s book is not a story per se of an ant or colonies of ants, but more of an educational learning tool of the characteristics and behavior of these tiny creatures. Readers will not only learn the ant can lift ten times its weight, its feet’s grip can withstand hurricane force winds, and it defies gravity, it also communicates within its colony through body language and chemical signals called pheromones, and it has swarm intelligence.

Two specific species named the Black Garden and Wood ants actually farm aphids and mealybugs for the rich sap produced. Ants will defend their flocks against spiders, wasps, and ladybugs for their production of the sweet honeydew, the high-energy nutrient from their collection. A colony can eat two hundred pounds of this honeydew per year.

Although the book does not go into detail about where ants live (ant hill, underground, or in a log), their lifespan, or other types of ants such red or fire ants that sting or bite, the book does explains the concept of farming other insects for food, including clipping aphids’ wings so they cannot fly away to increase their food-producing population.

With more complicated words for beginning readers, this book would best be read aloud to young ones, while the adult will find the tongue-in-cheek designs clever, funny, and engaging. There is also a helpful reminder at the end of the book to visit the local library to learn more. Although the book is rather short and stops abruptly, Brown has plenty of options for future educational series of animals and insects that children can learn about in a fun, creative way.

This book was furnished by the author in lieu of a review based on my own opinion.

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