Ants In Your Pants, Worms In Your Plants!

Full disclosure: As a member of the DC Green Party, my review might be overly influenced by the planet-loving theme.  In other words, I'm Erik and I approve of Diane deGroat's message. 

*Not only is that message strong, but it is detailed -- there are numerous examples of life changes we can all undertake to become better residents of Earth  
*My favorite spread in the book has to be the discussion on composting since it involves worms, worms pooping, and multiple opportunities to say the words "Eewww" and "Pee-you"
*I found the usage of thought bubbles filled with white space to be an amusing way to depict being in a creative rut 

*The beginning few pages made me think I was embarking on another boring school adventure with characters I would hate -- thankfully this notion ended once they kids left the classroom  
*Maybe it's just hard for illustrators to get me to like anthropomorphic animals that are drawn rather realistically (rather than cartoon-y) -- and the lead character is the freakiest of all 
*While it doesn't really matter, I found it slightly annoying that the author assumed we knew which first names corresponded to which animals (on the bright side, it did give me and my boy an extra activity to undertake while reading)

So my wife (who has been making a lot of appearances on this blog of late) picked this one out last week.  When I saw the cover picture, I've gotta tell you, I was not excited.  The combination of Gilbert's countenance and a lame-o title made me avoid it for a few solid days.  But tonight my son brought it over to me personally and asked me to read it (on World Read Aloud Day, no less).  How could I say no to that?!  By page three, my opinion hadn't changed much, but as things went on, I really started to appreciate what deGroat was doing.  As soon as we reached the final page, I knew I had a Buy in my hands, albeit not one of my favorite books to earn this designation.  If you are just starting a child's collection of picture books, I would not include this one on the list (especially if you are budget-conscious).  However, if you're even half as book crazy as me, I'm giving you the green light to drop the $17 on this joint.  Oh, one last thing.  Allow me to clarify why this book is listed under my Holiday category... it's because AIYPWIYP pays homage to Earth Day.  [Although it would have been nice to see a mention of the actual date, even if it was on a poster in the background.]  If anyone's interested, I will be celebrating 2012's event by helping to clean up parks around the US Capitol.  I'd be more than happy to drop a few ants in your pants if you stop by and say hi

BUY / Borrow / Donate / Destroy


Ali B said...

I kinda like the title, but I don't like the cover illustration. Is he wearing glasses?

mysteryguy said...

He is. Oh, and his name is Gilbert, so that's not gonna help his cause with the ladies:)