The Little Ant and the Apple Tree
by Evelyn Razilov
Trafford Publishing

"The ants were so busy they continue to be engaged in their work and they did not pay any attention to the little ant."

Razilov has written a simple little story that offers up a valuable lesson for both children and adults. Curiosity gets the best of a young ant who questions how apples get from the tree to the ground. Busy adult ants seem to ignore his question. Impatient for the answer, he sets out on his own adventure. With the help of a kind grasshopper, he continues on his journey but gets caught in the river's flow, and ultimately must be rescued by the elder ants.

The all important takeaway from this story is that parents and children need to listen to one another. In a note to parents, the author stresses the need for adults to take a moment to listen to a child's questions and provide an informed response. Clearly Razilov feels this simple exchange and honest approach will go a long way in preventing behavioral problems. Smartly, the author also turns this early reader into a fun activity book. By offering a few questions at the end of the tale, she ignites an opportunity for discussion by challenging the younger set on their listening and comprehension skills. Creative abilities are also tested with a blank page meant to inspire a drawing from the little ones. A maze activity also gives readers a chance to choose a path that will help the central character find his way home.

Kenn Yapsangco's bright and colorful illustrations are a delight. Fire engine red creatures, with their large bug eyes and white gloved appendages. truly bring life to the pages. Details of the wise old ant, with his bushy eyebrows, spectacles, and cane are a humorous sight, along with the "jolly green giant" of a grasshopper. The contrast of size and point of view perspective works well within the storyline, as this small ant ventures into the big world.

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