Monday, July 5, 2010

Little Black Ant on Park Street by Janet Halfmann

Little Black Ant on Park Street by Janet Halfmann
Illustrated By: Kathleen Rietz
Geared Towards: Ages 4-8
Published By: Trudy Corporation & the Smithsonian Institution
Publication Date: December 2009

I never knew this line of books existed, but after reading Little Black Ant on Park Street by Janet Halfmann I know I simply must look into finding more books published by this company. Halfmann is a amazing author, and I have been a huge fan since I first had the opportunity to read and review her earlier title, Little Skink's Tail, published by the incredible Sylvan Dell. But back to Soundprint's Smithsonian's Backyard, and more specifically Little Black Ant on Park Street.

If you have a young child who is interested in the how's and why's of nature, then I highly recommend this book. Accompanied by colorful and very realistic illustrations, this story documents the journey of a solitary little black ant as she goes through the day to day activities that comprise the life of one so small. Halfmann does a fantastic job of describing the design and function of an anthill and the hierarchy within. And in a language young children can easily understand, she explains how ants travel; search for food; and work as part of a group for the greater good.

Who knew an ant's life would actually offer up some good life lessons that even we as human beings can learn from? Well, it's true. The tiny black ant displays an attitude of dedication, intelligence, independence yet with ties to a group oneness, and a strength of ingenuity. When life gets difficult or a job seems too big to tackle, the seemingly insignificant ant doesn't get upset, she simply finds a solution. Whether it is asking for help or keeping her head down and staying on the path, she gets what she needs to get done and finds fulfillment within the act and end results.

It's a lesson I know I can use to take to heart. If a tiny little ant can accomplish so much simply by dedicating herself, how much more can I, as a person, accomplish if I set my mind to it? How great can my life be if I really apply myself?

Yes, this book definitely provides some wonderful life and scientific lessons, but it also provides something more basic- pure entertainment. Watching as the little ant on Park Street goes through her day was both educational and full of heart. Coming from someone who generally can not stand ants, I'd have to say I really found myself drawn in to this book. Without a doubt, Halfmann has written another winner with Little Black Ant on Park Street. It's been my privilege to have this review opportunity.

Thank you!

OUR RATING: 5 hearts

"Smithsonian's Backyard... is a world of wonder for children intrigued by the wildlife outside their windows. These entertaining stories answer many questions children have about the habits and habitats of the animals in our own backyards. The series excites children about reading and learning, using interactive storybooks, audiobooks and stuffed animal toys. This title was developed under the direct supervision of curators for the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History."

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