My Brother, Ant by Betsy Byars, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
My Brother, Ant

My Brother, Ant

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by Betsy Byars
     
 

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Meet Ant, the little brother who's big on laughs. In four upbeat stories, Ant and his big brother confront the monster under the bed, recreate the story of the three little pigs, and write a letter to Santa-in July! Sometimes funny, always endearing, Ant is invariably entertaining.'A great storyteller and a great illustrator are at their very best in this tender,

Overview

Meet Ant, the little brother who's big on laughs. In four upbeat stories, Ant and his big brother confront the monster under the bed, recreate the story of the three little pigs, and write a letter to Santa-in July! Sometimes funny, always endearing, Ant is invariably entertaining.'A great storyteller and a great illustrator are at their very best in this tender, funny easy-to-read.' ?Booklist, starred review

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
In four separate stories, Ant's older brother gets rid of the monster under Ant's bed, forgives Ant for drawing on his homework, tries to read a story, and helps Ant writes a letter to Santa. That sums up the stories, but reading them is really a pleasure. When big brother chases the monster from under the bed, he does it by having a conversation telling the monster to find a new place to go—it appears to be sufficient enough to let his little brother go to sleep. Ant is accused of drawing a spider on his brother's spelling homework, but denies drawing a spider. As readers learn it is just a matter of semantics—the spider is really an upside down dog and Ant did indeed draw it. His brother's solution to his homework problem is amusing. Ant request a story, but when his big brother takes liberties then Ant gets upset. The finale of this tale is made even more humorous by the drawings which will bring a smile to the face of young readers. Why is Ant asking for a letter to Santa in the middle of summer? He really just wants to say thank you and what a lesson that is. The combination of Byars and Simont is wonderful. The stories are a delight and so is the artwork. Happily others thought so too as the book has won several awards including a star from Booklist and a blue ribbon from the Bulletin. This reissued title is a Level 3 book in the "Penguin Young Readers" series and has been identified a transitional reader—Guided Reading Level "J." The opening page contains a note to parents and educators about the series and tips for making best use of the book. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
It may not earn Byars (Summer of the Swans) another Newbery Medal or Simont (A Tree Is Nice) another Caldecott, but this volume is tailor-made for kids just beginning to read on their own. For starters, they will immediately take to the admirably tolerant narrator, whose feisty younger brother, Ant (short for Anthony), would test any sibling's patience. In these snippets, the older boy chases a monster from under Ant's bed; copes with an indecipherable picture that someone (guess who?) has drawn on his homework paper; reads Ant a fairy tale; and plays scribe when Ant dictates a letter to Santa . . . in July. Told with brevity, in simply constructed sentences and controlled vocabulary, these four vignettes are full of homespun warmth and easy-going humor. Echoing the good-natured narrative, Simont's straightforward pictures do a commendable job of helping to relay the plots-a big plus in fiction for this audience. Ages 6-9. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-In this appealing easy reader, a boy chronicles how his sometimes-pesky younger brother, Ant, puts a twist on everyday events and keeps the family on its toes. The caring older sibling gets rid of the monster under Ant's bed, reads him a short version of "The Three Little Pigs," records his summer thank-you letter to Santa, and manages to take into stride the preschooler's addition to his spelling homework. The affectionate relationship between the boys underscores all the stories. Simont's lively, realistic watercolors enhance the understated humor. Beginning readers will enjoy this effort and look forward to more low-key adventures featuring the irrepressible Ant.-Gale W. Sherman, Pocatello Public Library, ID
Hazel Rochman
Forget Dick and Jane. Books for beginning readers have been an honored genre in children's literature for more than 30 years, from Else Minarik and Maurice Sendak's Little Bear (1957) as well as their 1962 Caldecott Honor book, Little Bear's Visit and Arnold Lobel's classic Frog and Toad books, to Cynthia Rylant's Henry and Mudge series and the exceptional science books by writers such as Paul Showers and Joanna Cole. A great storyteller and a great illustrator are at their very best in this tender, funny "Easy-to-Read" chapter book in which a boy talks about his younger brother, Ant. The family situations are elemental, and there's not a trace of condescension. In one story, Anthony (Ant) is afraid of the monster under his bed; Dad's irritable, so the older brother has to take care of things, comfort Ant, and banish the beast. In the next story, the older boy is furious because "someone" has scribbled on his perfect spelling homework. Every chapter has a surprising twist that grows from the people and their relationships. When his brother reads to him, Ant doesn't want one word changed of "The Three Little Pigs," not one word, but then he can't bear to stay around to hear about the scary wolf. The pictures are achingly affectionate. As in his illustrations for Welch's Playing Right Field (1995), Simont shows the small child's sturdy innocence and vulnerability. Every part of Ant's body pays attention. The economy of line and language will grab new readers. They'll see that a good story can leave a lot unsaid, even while it shows you what you didn't quite know you felt.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780140383454
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/28/1998
Series:
Penguin Young Readers Level 3 Series
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
537,026
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.13(d)
Lexile:
130L (what's this?)
Age Range:
6 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Betsy Byars began her writing career rather late in life. "In all of my school years, . . . not one single teacher ever said to me, 'Perhaps you should consider becoming a writer,'" Byars recalls. "Anyway, I didn't want to be a writer. Writing seemed boring. You sat in a room all day by yourself and typed. If I was going to be a writer at all, I was going to be a foreign correspondent like Claudette Colbert in Arise My Love. I would wear smashing hats, wisecrack with the guys, and have a byline known round the world. My father wanted me to be a mathematician." So Byars set out to become mathematician, but when she couldn't grasp calculus in college, she turned to English. Even then, writing was not on her immediate horizon.

First, she married and started a family. The writing career didn't emerge until she was 28, a mother of two children, and living in a small place she called the barracks apartment, in Urbana, Illinois. She and her husband, Ed, had moved there in 1956 so he could attend graduate school at the University of Illinois. She was bored, had no friends, and so turned to writing to fill her time. Byars started writing articles for The Saturday Evening Post, Look,and other magazines. As her family grew and her children started to read, she began to write books for young people and, fortunately for her readers, discovered that there was more to being a writer than sitting in front of a typewriter.

"Making up stories and characters is so interesting that I'm never bored. Each book has been a different writing experience. It takes me about a year to write a book, but I spend another year thinking about it, polishing it, and making improvements. I always put something of myself intomy books — something that happened to me. Once a wanderer came by my house and showed me how to brush my teeth with a cherry twig; that went in The House of Wingscopyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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