It's an Orange Aardvark

40p. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. May 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062252067.
PreS-Gr 1—With an illustration style reminiscent of Lois Ehlert's and storytelling style similar to Eric Carle's, this tale of imagination succeeds in its bold simplicity. Five carpenter ants, with distinct personalities to delight readers, use the length of the book to discover what is making noise outside of their home. During the course of drilling holes to see what's causing such a ruckus, the ants explore color, revealing a magnificent surprise at the end of the book. The use of die-cut bore holes on each page build action and suspense in a way that readers and nonreaders alike will appreciate. Hall has crafted a book that works in a variety settings, as well. The use of color has application to early learning curricular needs, while the pace and flow of the text works well for read-aloud and storytime settings. Get ready to have another go-to favorite to pair with cherished titles like Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar (Penguin, 1969) and Ehlert's Color Zoo (HarperCollins, 1989).—Beth Dobson, Weatherly Heights Elementary School, Huntsville, AL
A carpenter ant makes a hole from inside its tree stump; the colors it--and readers--see through the holes reinforce the (unfounded) fear that there's an aardvark on the other side ("an orange aardvark...wearing blue pajamas!"). The witty digital art, incorporating painted textures and torn paper, keeps pace with the ant's cumulatively wilder assumptions, which are swallowed by its gullible ant friends.

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