Two Bad Ants      -     By: Chris Van Allsburg
    Illustrated By: Chris Van Allsburg
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Two Bad Ants

Illustrated By: Chris Van Allsburg
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt / 1988 / Hardcover

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Product Description

The news travels swiftly through the tunnels of the ant world. A marvelous crystal has been discovered in a farway place. The queen of the ant colony declares that the crystal is the most delicious substance she has ever eaten. Eager to please their queen, a group of ants set out to bring back all the crystals they can carry. But two of the ants are overwhelmed by the treasure they find in the alien world of crystals. When their fellow ants return, they stay behind. And so begins a terrible ordeal. Danger lies on every side. Are the crystals worth such a risk?

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Vendor: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: 1988
ISBN: 0395486688
ISBN-13: 9780395486689
Availability: Usually ships in 24-48 hours.

Publisher's Description

The three-time Caldecott medalist tells the tale of two ants who decide to leave the safety of the others to venture into a danger-laden kitchen.

Author Bio

Chris Van Allsburg is the winner of two Caldecott Medals, for Jumanji and The Polar Express, as well as the recipient of a Caldecott Honor Book for The Garden of Abdul Gasazi. The author and illustrator of numerous picture books for children, he has also been awarded the Regina Medal for lifetime achievement in children’s literature. In 1982, Jumanji was nominated for a National Book Award and in 1996, it was made into a popular feature film. Chris Van Allsburg was formerly an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and two children.

Publisher's Weekly

In this new book by Van Allsburg, twice a winner of the Caldecott Medal, the theme of an outsider's point-of-view (touched upon most recently in his The Stranger ) is expanded. Accustomed to the orderly and uneventful life in the ant hole, all the ants enter the bizarre world of a kitchen in the search for sugar crystals for the queen. Two greedy ants stay behind in the sugar bowl, eating their fill and then falling asleep. Their slumbers end when a giant scoop drops them into a sea of boiling brown coffee. Further mishaps include a heated stay in the toaster, a hazardous swirl in the garbage disposal and a zap in an electrical outlet. When the ant troops return, the two bad ants gladly rejoin their friends and head for the safety of home. In this work, the hazards of nonconformity are clear. The narration has the feel of early newsreels where the broadcaster described unknown phenomena in clipped, clinical language: ``A strange force passed through the wet ants. They were stunned senseless and blown out of the holes like bullets from a gun.'' The resilient ants and the eerie landscapes are portrayed in strong black-and-white images, enriched by deep brown, purple, slate, gold and steely blue colors; Van Allsburg, playing with perspective, creates marvelous contrasts and images. But although Two Bad Ants is visually different from its predecessors, it shares the same strong style, dazzling artwork and whimsy that characterizes all of the artist's work. Ages 3-8. (Oct.)

Editorial Reviews

"Children will be fascinated by the ant-eye view that Van Allsburg provides of common everyday items." Booklist, ALA

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