The Wonderful Wisdom of ants.
Philip Bunting (2020)
Omnibus Books: Scholastic
The Wonderful Wisdom of Ants is a playful picture book written by the highly recognised author of Mopoke, Philip Bunting. It sets out to answer life’s biggest questions through the often unnoticed yet insightful world of ants. Bunting takes us on a factual journey to discover the hidden talents of these little creatures while subtly drawing comparisons to humans, their relationships with each other and the earth.
Bunting’s known quirky style does not disappoint in this factual book. Similar to conventional non-fiction texts, the book provides facts about its topic’s (ants) likes, dislikes, community and hierarchy. The reader will learn about communication and diet, with exposure to a range of technical language. The uniqueness in this text, however, comes from the comedy and graphic design which is far from a typical information text. Bold blocks of earthy colours cover each page with large, simple illustrations. Facts are presented through smoothly structured sentences, diagrams and picture labels. Bunting maintains engagement for the reader, employing strategies such as repetition, single word and complex sentences, to convey meaning while keeping the explanations comprehendible for a range of readers. He adds characterisation to the ants through humorous dialogue in the form of speech bubbles and quotes.
The book is a perfect intergenerational text that can be read to a younger audience while still being enjoyed by the older reader. As a mentor text for the classroom, this book would be perfect to teach the comprehension strategy Making Connections as the author leads the reader to connect and compare the information with their knowledge of the world, humans and relationships. The study of sentence fluency could also highlight the clever way that short sentences, repetition and more complex sentences can be carefully crafted to engage the reader.
From the illustrations, graphic design, humour and facts, there is something for everyone in this delightful book.
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As a lover of books and a teacher, I read widely. Here you will find book reviews of many genres including picture story, middle grade fiction, graphic novels, women's fiction, short story anthologies, non-fiction and anything else that takes my fancy.