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Updated: November 7, 2023
Fueled by a love of nature, tiny critters, and children’s literature, I’ve curated a list of my favorite ant books for kids. Starting with over 30 titles, and after in-classroom testing and research, we have the final list.
These ant-themed books offer a blend of engaging stories, charming characters, interesting facts, and captivating photos.
Whether you’re creating a nature-focused classroom or planning an insect-themed unit, these titles are sure to spark the curiosity of any bug enthusiast.
Quirky Ant Adventure Books
How to Walk an Ant by Cindy Derby
This quirky book is the ultimate guide to becoming a professional ant walker. How to Walk an Ant is one of those exceptional children’s book finds that includes a touch of dark, twisty humor. If you adore Shel Silverstein, you’ll love sharing this book with your child or classroom.
The Ants Who Couldn’t Dance by Susan Rich Brooke, illustrated by Paul Nicholls
Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The ant characters may lack rhythm, but the lively rhyming text in this ant book makes it a fun read. It’s filled with action vocabulary to model for children, encouraging them to explore new dance moves. I recommend inviting everyone to stand up during storytime for added fun. This ant story also shares an important message about the value of teamwork and working together.
I Don’t Like to Eat Ants by JTK Belle, illustrated by Sabine Mielke
I Don’t Like to Eat Ants introduces an unconventional anteater with unique tastes. Just like the classic Green Eggs and Ham, this tale uses rhyming text to playfully explore trying new foods. I appreciate how this book introduces tolerance and respect for others’ eating preferences.
Interactive & Educational Stories
Eat Together by Miguel Ordonez
The bold geometric shapes in this board book quickly capture children’s attention. But what I love most is the multiple ways to interact with Eat Together. It provides an opportunity to count, talk about shapes, and learn about ant behavior. When reading this story with toddlers, we choose our favorite food and pretend to steal it back from the mischievous ants. This interactive learning approach instills a joy for reading and a curiosity about insects.
One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes, illustrated by Bonnie Mackain
One Hundred Hungry Ants combines playful rhyme, repetition, and math with charming print-like illustrations. This book introduces the classic scenario of ants invading a picnic and can be adapted for various age groups. Toddlers can spot familiar woodland critters and explore animal sounds, while older children can learn to count all the way to 100.
The Ants Go Marching: A Count-and-Sing Along by Priscilla Burris
The Ants Go Marching is another ant adventure about having a picnic. This board book is based on the popular children’s song and combines music and math. Children will enjoy the repetitive phrases “boom boom boom” and “hurrah hurrah.” This provides an incredible opportunity for them to participate and “read” along with the book.
The Ant and the Grasshopper by Blake Hoena, illustrated by Lisk Feng
To be honest, the first thing that caught my attention was the “aesthetic” illustrations. But this ant book is more than pretty. The Ant and The Grasshopper is a musical adaptation of a classic Aesop fable. Whether you sing or read this story aloud, the repetition in the text will help children build language skills.
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Exploring Ants in Nature Books
Hey, Little Ant by Phillip Hoose & Hannah Hoose, illustrated by Debbie Tilley
In Hey, Little Ant, a child’s conversation with an ant shows readers the importance of compassion and empathy. You can use this book to spark curiosity about ants and encourage children to explore their role in protecting other living things. This ant book is an excellent opportunity to support emotional skills and discussions about caring for others.
Our Amazing World: Ants by Kay de Silva
Our Amazing World: Ants offers an introduction to ant science, with stunning close-up photographs to engage readers. While plenty of nonfiction ant books are available, this one stands out for its remarkable images. I strongly recommend including children’s books with real photographs in your library to help them learn about the world.
More Helpful Information
Why should you teach preschoolers and toddlers about ants?
When children learn about insects, they get insight into the world around them. Even tiny little ants have a big impact on our planet. Children are fascinated by ant behavior and amazed by the intricate colonies they build. These books about ants are perfect for introducing young readers to the world of insects.
Ant books may be the next best thing when you don’t have a chance to observe ants up close. Each ant book on this list is packed with valuable lessons and information about ants. They are a great extension of bug activities for preschoolers and toddlers.
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