We all know that it can be difficult to tell our kids anything and have the truth of what we are saying sink in. Ideas such as “appearances can be deceiving” are abstract concepts to little ones. Without some context, children have little hope of grasping what you are talking about when you try to explain good character traits.
As a child, I was always a fan of Aesop’s Fables because they appealed to my precociously overdeveloped sense of justice. Now I can share the sentiment of Aesop’s tales with my own children and give all kinds of abstract concepts context, by reading S.M.R. Saia’s Little Ant Series with them.
There are seven books in the series so far, and they follow the hero, Little Ant, as he discovers growing up is not the simple, straightforward journey he imagined and that the world around him can be far from what it appears.
In each of the stories Little Ant makes a mistake or an incorrect assumption but because he is surrounded by a network of supportive family and friends he can learn from his mistakes and become a kinder, more considerate person, I mean, ant.
The beautiful illustrations are the perfect compliment to the thoughtfully told stories. With words and pictures, the author and illustrator create a fanciful world in which Little Ant encounters situations that allow him to grow in ways he never imagined. The Little Ant books are a must-have series for parents and guardians to share and enjoy with the little ones in their lives.
The Little Ant website also has printable activities, as well as a downloadable coloring book, color by numbers and coloring pages so you can enjoy our little friends’ adventures even when you are not reading the books.
Book #1 Little Ant and the Butterfly
When he first sees the caterpillar, Little Ant makes assumptions based on how the caterpillar looks. Little Ant thinks that the butterfly is somehow less because he is different to the other insects. When the caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly Little Ant has to think twice about judging others by how they look and discovers that it is OK to be different.
Book #2 Little Ant Goes to a Picnic
Which one of us didn’t think we were much more grown up than we actually were when we were children?
In this book, Little Ant does precisely that. When he is told that only the biggest and most experienced ants can go to the picnic and gather food, Little Ant decides to prove that he is grown up enough.
Unfortunately for him, Little Ant discovers just how dangerous it is to gather food from a picnic and ultimately learns he is not as grown up as he thinks.
Book #3 Little Ant and the Cricket
Little Ant thinks it is essential for everybody to like him and tries to please everyone no matter what. When cricket tells Little Ant that ants are no fun, our hero finds himself going to parties with the cricket to prove his friend wrong.
However, Little Ant finds he is not enjoying himself and that trying to please everyone to ensure they like him comes at a cost, his happiness.
What will Little Ant do? Will he continue to try and make everybody else happy or will he learn a valuable lesson?
Book #4 Little Ant’s Valentine
This story could be for young and old alike because let’s face it, all of us have disliked Valentines Day at one time or another.
Little Ant doesn’t like Valentine’s Day because there are no ants in the anthill to whom he is special. For this reason, Little Ant steadfastly ignores the holiday and carries on working while all of the other ants get ready for the big day.
However, when a pretty ant, which is very much a female version of himself, catches Little Ant’s eye, he sets out to find her the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.
Will he find a gift that reflects his true feelings or will he discover something else?
Book #5 Little Ant and the Dove
Little Ant doesn’t think it is worth his time helping weevil. Our hero doesn’t believe that weevil would ever be in place to help him – so why go to the trouble of helping when there’s nothing in it for him?
Meanwhile, Stick Insect asks for Little Ants help to hunt down a black-eyed pea he had spied. Little Ant gladly helps his friend, but as the duo is in the process of getting the pea, a dove swoops down and grabs Stick Insect, flying off to weave Little Ants friend into a nest.
Can Little Ant rescue his friend and will he learn the real value of helping someone who cannot help you?
Book #6 Little Ant and the Peanut
The ants are out looking for some much-needed food to refill their dwindling supplies, and when Little Ant finds a peanut, he tries to be a hero by bringing it back all by himself.
As you might expect, Little Ant runs into trouble and soon discovers that sometimes working as a team is much better for everyone than trying to be the hero by yourself.
Book #7 Little Ant and the Dragonfly
If ever there was a fabulous way to tell your kids that there are two sides to every story, Little Ant and the Dragonfly is it.
Our six-legged protagonist is playing with a friend when that friend pushes him into a puddle. Little Ant is furious and discovers that the dragonfly saw the entire thing unfold.
Dragonfly agrees to tell all of the other insects what happened but will the incident he saw be the same as the incident Little Ant experienced?
Books in the Little Ant Series
- Appearances can be deceiving (Little Ant and the Butterfly)
- Look before you leap (Little Ant Goes to a Picnic)
- You can’t please everyone (Little Ant and the Cricket)
- Even the wildest can be tamed by love (Little Ant’s Valentine)
- One good turn deserves another (Little Ant and the Dove)
- United we stand; divided we fall (Little Ant and the Peanut)
- Every truth has two sides (Little Ant and the Dragonfly)
- Good friends don’t desert you at the first sign of trouble (Little Ant and the Spider) [coming in 2018]
- Count your blessings (Little Ant and the Preying Mantis) [coming in 2018]
- When you do what you love, you are always at play (Little Ant and the Grasshopper) [coming in 2018]
Little Ant on the Internet
If you are looking for extra gifts for book lovers, there are plenty of amazing ideas in our ultimate guide to gifts for book lovers, updated for 2019.