Ant Books for Kids

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Children of a certain age are often fascinated by insects. Given that ants can be found almost anywhere, they are good subjects to study. Do you know some children who are interested in ants? This list of books is just for them!

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Nonfiction

Beginning Readers

National Geographic Readers: Ants by Melissa Stewart

This informational book is packed with facts about ants, such as what they look like, where they live and what they eat. Illustrated with the quality photographs you would expect from National Geographic.

Age Range: 4 – 6 years
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (January 12, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1426306083
ISBN-13: 978-1426306082

Busy Ants (Pull Ahead Books) by by Kristin L. Nelson

“These two insects are working together.
What kind of insects are they?
These insects are busy ants.
They are moving leaves to make a nest.”

This small book, with controlled vocabulary and short sentences, introduces beginning readers to basic ant facts.

Age Range: 5 and up
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group (February 1, 2004)
ISBN-10: 082259885X
ISBN-13: 978-0822598855

Time For Kids: Ants! (Time for Kids Science Scoops)by Editors of TIME For Kids

Falling in the easy reader category, this title gives the basics of ant biology.

Age Range: 6 – 10 years
Publisher: HarperCollins (July 26, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0060576405
ISBN-13: 978-0060576400

DK Readers L3: Ant Antics by Deborah Lock

Designed for beginning readers who are now reading on their own, expect longer sentences and more complex vocabulary.

((As an entomologist, I can tell the photograph on pp. 32-33 was staged. Can you figure out why?))

Age Range: 7 – 9 years
Publisher: DK CHILDREN (August 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 9780756689339
ISBN-13: 978-0756689339

Look Inside an Ant Nest (Look Inside Animal Homes) by Megan Nicole Cooley Peterson

Look Inside an Ant Nest is a straightforward nonfiction book that explores the unseen world of an ant nest. Laid out with large color photographs on the right side page and simple sentences with controlled, subject-specific vocabulary on the left, it is perfect for the beginning reader (first grade reading level). The large size also makes it easy to hold up and read in front of a group of young children.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Capstone Press (July 1, 2011)
ISBN-10: 1429660783
ISBN-13: 978-1429660785

Picture Books

Are You an Ant? (Backyard Books) by Judy Allen and illustrated by Tudor Humphries

The Are you a…? books are always wonderful because the author brings the child into the story by comparing the insects, in this case ants, to humans. You feel like you are inside an ant colony.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: Kingfisher; Reprint edition (May 13, 2004)
ISBN-10: 0753458039
ISBN-13: 978-0753458037

Thinking About Ants by Barbara Brenner and illustrated by Carol Schwartz

This older book (1996) is well worth a second look. The illustrations are gorgeous, bringing the reader up close to ants. The text is simple and lyrical, but also packs in all the information needed.

“Food!
What do ants eat?
Some eat meat.
A snack of dead bug.
A hunk of worm…”

A fabulous book for kids!

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Mondo Pub (November 1, 1996)
ISBN-10: 1572552093
ISBN-13: 978-1572552098

 

Ant Cities (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science 2)by Arthur Dorros

Part of the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series, this title is probably one of the more informative books about ants for this age group. It follows the busy ants of an “ant city” or colony.

Age Range: 5 – 9 years
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (June 23, 1988)
ISBN-10: 0064450791
ISBN-13: 978-0064450799

The Life and Times of the Ant by Charles Micucci

An excellent introduction to ants, with lively cartoon illustrations to keep the reader interested

Grade Level: Kindergarten – 3
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (April 17, 2006)
ISBN-10: 0618689494
ISBN-13: 978-0618689491

The Life Cycle of an Ant by Hadley Dyer and Bobbie Kalman

The Life Cycle of an Ant has denser text and more complicated vocabulary than some of the previous titles. It is for the student who is interested in delving deeper into ant biology.

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Crabtree Pub Co (November 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0778707008
ISBN-13: 978-0778707004

Little Black Ant on Park Street – a Smithsonian’s Backyard Book by Janet Halfmann and illustrated by Kathleen Rietz,

As you would expect with a book labeled with the venerable Smithsonian name, Little Black Ant on Park Street is a quality nonfiction picture book. As with the other books in this series, it also has a fictional flavor. What do I mean by fictional flavor? The author has created a main character, the little black ant, who experiences rising levels of conflict and finally resolution. Overlaying this rich story is amazingly accurate and up-to-date information about the biology of ants.

More extensive review at Wrapped in Foil

Age Range: 4 and up
Publisher: Soundprint; 1 edition (December 1, 2009)
ISBN-10: 160727003X
ISBN-13: 978-1607270034

Picture Book Fiction

Gets Ants in It’s Pants: A Book about Ants (Magic School Bus) by Joanna Cole, and illustrated by John Speirs and Bruce Degen

Follow Ms. Frizzle’s class once more, as this time they make a movie about ants. Walking the line between fiction and nonfiction, this imaginative older book is filled with facts about ants and very bad puns!

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: Scholastic (January 1, 1996)
ISBN-10: 059040024X
ISBN-13: 978-0590400244

The Little Red Ant and the Great Big Crumb by Shirley Climo and illustrated by Francisco Mora

In this lively take on a Mexican tale, the ant finds out more about its world as it tries to carry home a crumb that is too large. The text contains some Spanish vocabulary words. The illustrations are vibrant, fun watercolors.

Age Range: 5 – 8 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (March 22, 1999)
ISBN-10: 0395720974
ISBN-13: 978-0395720974

Antics! (Paperstar) by Cathi Hepworth

If you liked the puns in the Magic School House book, you’ll love these. There are ant puns galore in this imaginative alphabet book.

Age Range: 2 – 6 years
Publisher: Puffin (April 16, 1996)
ISBN-10: 0698113500
ISBN-13: 978-0698113503

Hey, Little Ant by Phillip M. Hoose, Hannah Hoose and Debbie Tilley

A tale about a boy deciding whether or not to step on an ant, which also gives the ant’s point of view. A Reading Rainbow selection…

Age Range: 3 – 7 years
Publisher: Tricycle Press (July 1, 1998)
ISBN-10: 1883672546
ISBN-13: 978-1883672546

Ma Jiang and the Orange Ants by Barbara Ann Porte and illustrated by Annie Cannon

The orange ants in this story are named for the fact they are used to protect orange trees from pests. Ma Jiang and her family experience turbulent times as the men are pressed into service in the emperor’s army. Will the orange ants help those left behind to survive?

Age Range: 6 and up
Publisher: Orchard Books; First Edition edition (September 2000)
ISBN-10: 0531332411
ISBN-13: 978-0531332412

Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg

Two Bad Ants is told from the perspective of two very small and confused ants who have a wild adventure in what turns out to be a standard kitchen.

The illustrations have a bold, graphic look that is unique and intriguing.

Age Range: 4 – 8 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 24, 1988)
ISBN-10: 0395486688
ISBN-13: 978-0395486689

Crickwing by Janell Cannon

Ants figure prominently in this book with a cockroach as a main character.

Age Range: 6 – 9 years
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (May 1, 2005)
ISBN-10: 0152050612
ISBN-13: 978-0152050610

Middle Grade Fiction

The Nora Notebooks, Book 1: The Trouble with Ants by Claudia Mills and illustrated by Katie Kath

Fourth grader Nora keeps an ant farm. She also records fascinating facts about ants in a journal, with quotes sprinkled throughout the book. She even does a simple experiment with ants and writes a paper about it. If that was all the book was about it would be good, but author Claudia Mills takes it to the next level by including many layers of story. For more details and a full review, see our sister blog, Wrapped in Foil.

Age Range: 7 – 10 years
Hardcover: 176 pages
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (September 22, 2015)
ISBN-10: 0385391617
ISBN-13: 978-0385391610


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