Army Ant Parade
  • Alternative view 1 of Army Ant Parade
  • Alternative view 2 of Army Ant Parade

Army Ant Parade

by April Pulley Sayre, Rick Chrustowski
     
 

An evocation of an army ant parade set in the rain forest.

One morning there is a strange stillness in the forest. A few birds call. There is a rustling, like rain. Suddenly insects scurry into view. The army ants are coming!

They swarm over the ground in a thick stream, searching for food. Antbirds follow them to eat the insects that flee from the swarm. Most

Overview

An evocation of an army ant parade set in the rain forest.

One morning there is a strange stillness in the forest. A few birds call. There is a rustling, like rain. Suddenly insects scurry into view. The army ants are coming!

They swarm over the ground in a thick stream, searching for food. Antbirds follow them to eat the insects that flee from the swarm. Most animals escape the army ant attack, but one frog isn't so lucky: it becomes a meal. The hungry army ants move on, and soon the forest is quiet again.

Simple, evocative text and vibrant illustrations capture the drama and excitement of an army ant parade.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Set in a Panamanian rain forest, Army Ant Parade by April Pulley Sayre, illus. by Rick Chrustowski, puts readers right in the center of the excitement, suggesting they look for telltale signs, such as an antbird rustling ("Chew-chew-chew," it calls) or scorpions scurrying. The earthtoned illustrations show the subject close up as well as advancing en masse. Back matter includes additional information. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
We are in the Panamanian forest, experiencing the expectant hush and the activities of the surrounding creatures as we await the incredible march of the army ants. In brief, simple language, Sayre describes those who survive the onslaught and those who don't, as the parade passes by. Chrustowski's long, double-page scenes done in layers of colored pencil over watercolor take us down near the forest floor, so we get an ant's eye view of this story of genetic obsession. The ants create multiple streams climbing over everything in their way. All manner of insects, birds, even reptiles and vegetation are included in this visual report of nature at work. Additional notes about the ants are added. 2002, Henry Holt, $16.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-This lushly illustrated ecological tale rests on the premise that readers are camped in a Central American rain forest to observe an army ant swarm. Short blocks of text guide them step-by-step through the experience, describing the flight of hordes of scorpions and frogs from the ants as they come to search for food; how other creatures benefit from the swarm; and, finally, the end of the swarm, when the ant column moves on. A two-page appendix offers some additional material. Chrustowski's close-up, realistic illustrations, comprised of multiple layers of colored pencil over watercolor wash, are vivid and effective, with the ants often appearing to be headed straight toward readers. Eye-catching and clearly written, this title nevertheless omits some useful information. For instance, it fails to state the average size of a swarm, and the terms larvae and pupae are not defined. Also, not all of the creatures depicted are identified. There are a number of good general introductions to ants, but little information specifically on this variety, particularly for young children. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's Looking at Ants (Holiday, 1989; o.p.) does include a section, but the text is aimed at a higher reading level. Sayre's title will be a useful addition to most collections.-Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Sayre (Shadow, below, etc.) finds more wonder than menace in the march of army ants across a tropical rain forest's floor, noting that they only forage when there are larvae to be fed, and cataloguing some of the wildlife that takes advantage of what is fleeing the voracious columns. "Lizards skirt the edges, grabbing fleeing insects. Butterflies drink droppings antbirds leave." In Chrustowski's (Bright Beetle, 2001, etc.) clean-lined paintings, those columns look as solid as lava flows from a distance, resolving in the foregrounds to black and orange individuals ready to seize any insect or other small animal too unwary to flee. "A frog is caught in the swarm and hops too late." "A mother bird peers out from her cozy nest. Her chicks can't fly. And ants are climbing closer . . . " But the ants are not-the author claims-going to climb a human observer's boots. Children may still prefer to appreciate army ants from a safe distance-and these pages are a fine way to do that. (afterword) (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805063530
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
03/01/2002
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
10.32(w) x 8.16(h) x 0.43(d)
Lexile:
AD460L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

April Pulley Sayre visited a rain forest in Panama when she was writing this book so that she could see an army ant parade in person. She loves to write about the natural world. Her books include Home at Last and If You Should Hear a Honey Guide.

Rick Chrustowski spent lots of time in zoos drawing army ants and the other South American animals that are in this book. Mr. Chrustowski lives and works in an old farmhouse on a hill in Wisconsin.

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