Millie loves ants by Jackie French
Ill. by Sue deGennaro. Angus & Robertson, 2017. ISBN
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Echidnas. Ants. Australian animals. Verse story. Families. Millie the echidna just loves ants and the narrator of the story follows her everywhere, as she enjoys finding ants to eat in the most amazing of places around the house and garden. In rhyming lines, French tells how the echidna finds ants amongst the gnomes in the garden, under the bath, in the kitchen and the shed, in her bed and on her picnic, in hollow trees where they make nests of leaves. French follows the ants too as they busy themselves gathering all sorts of foods to take into their nests beneath the ground. Always followed by the echidna of course, as the girl follows Millie trying to work out exactly why she eats so many. Finally we all find out when the last page is revealed. The charming story follows the trail of ants followed by the hungry echidna, showing the reader how one is dependent upon the other, and showing each animal as it stores food. In a classroom this could be a starting point for discussions about animals and their behaviour. This new book about echidnas sits well alongside French's wonderful books about wombats and both are part of an expanding group of books about Australian animals. DeGennaro's illustrations are very different from those usually seen in French's books, and readers will love looking at the detail on each page.