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Grade 1-13cm this brief tale of the adventures of two runaway ants, Van Allsburg once again gives children a visual puzzle to solvein this case identifying common household appliances from an ant's point of view. When a troop of ants are sent to retrieve sugar crystals from a kitchen, two ants stay behind to feast and go to sleep in the sugar bowl. When morning comes they are successively stirred into a cup of coffee, almost swallowed, toasted with an english muffin, whirled through a garbage disposal, and stunned senseless in an electrical outlet. While some children will enjoy identifying the highly magnified objects, others will wonder how the ants have managed to survive any one of these disasters. The truants return home in one piece, and the last few lines supply a pallid and oddly moralistic conclusion to the story. The book is a visual tour-de-force. The highly linear, hard-edged drawings look like fine etchings which have been magnifieda technique which enhances the sense of being reduced to ant size. The colours applied in flat fields are primarily limited to earth tones and grey, combined with touches of pure white and black in lines and fields of almost luminous intensity. The intensity of the visual experience overpowers the story, which is a flat, rather cold vehicle, an excuse for a visual game which will appeal to the intellect of children older than typical picture book readers. Eleanor K. MacDonald, Beverly Hills Public Lib .
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"Children will be fascinated by the ant-eye view that Van Allsburg provides of common everyday items." Booklist, ALA