Review Blog

Mar 23 2020

The wonderful wisdom of ants by Philip Bunting

cover image

Scholastic, 2020. ISBN: 9781743834084. 32pp.
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. While showcasing some astonishing facts about ants, Bunting is cleverly using their lives to promote our sustained use of the planet, to finish his story with 'leave the earth in better shape than it was when you got here', a sentiment exemplified by one of the smallest of creatures which practises recycling, is omnivorous, cares for the rest of the colony and helps others. With lashings of humour, Bunting shows us the ants' traits: power napping, working together, thinking more of the community than themselves, with an emphasis on family.
A wonderful map of an ants' nest will give readers an overview of the intricacy involved in being an ant. An ant colony is huge and for it to work, everyone must work together. Bunting gives an outline of the different sorts of ants and their roles within the colony: the queen, simply there to reproduce, the worker, soldier, drone and princesses, all there with a specific job to do. Readers will love the smart way Bunting outlines their roles in life. Ants use their sense of smell to find food, leaving a trail of pheromones for other ants to follow to that food source. And they are omnivorous, recycle and work together. Each page Bunting makes the point that these little creatures care much more for the planet than we do, working with each other to make the most of what they find, leading to the quote on the last two pages which will initiate thought and discussion amongst the laughing and engaged readers.
Bunting shows us through humour that the problems of the world can be solved if we followed the life of an ant and its colony.
The wonderful illustrations provoke the reader as the ant stares out at us, willing us to take hold of what the ant teaches. The front cover has the ant shouldering the world, illustrating how their skills are what we need to emulate. Believing that the answers to many of life's questions can be found in our own back yard, Queensland author, Bunting has produced a book which will provoke and prod us all to look more closely at what lies in front of our eyes.
I love his work and laughed out loud at Mopoke, Another book about bears, and Bad crab, to name a few. Themes: Ants, Conservation, Family.
Fran Knight

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