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Ants Can't Dance

by Ellen Jackson

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From Publishers Weekly
In this whimsical tale, Jonathan finds a dancing ant and carries it home to his parents, who know "nearly everything." But the ant refuses to perform for the learned duo--and who can blame it? "Ants can't dance," says Jonathan's mother; "Absolutely, positively not," says his father. The next day Jonathan brings home a talking peanut ("Pass the salt and butter the corn"), and is met with similar disparagement from his parents. But when the boy discovers a stone that whistles for anybody--mother, father, geologists, TV reporters--events take an amusing turn. As a lighthearted picture book this collaboration will be enjoyed by parents and children alike. The comical illustrations are bright and cheery, and Jonathan is an endearing character. On a deeper level, however, the story lacks substance. The fresh, witty prose of the opening pages peters out, and the plot and premise become repetitive. Fun, but lightweight. Ages 5-8.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2-- A slight but amusing story. Jonathan finds a tap-dancing ant on his way home from school one day. He races home to show it to his parents, but, as might be expected, the ant fails to perform in their presence. Of course, in the privacy of the boy's room, it resumes its routine. Next day it's a talking peanut that enlivens the trip home, but once again, the peanut refuses to cooperate before the skeptical adults. Jonathan next encounters a whistling stone that isn't the least bit shy. His mother and father get the word out to important people, including the media and a geologist who insists on confiscating the treasure. When his mother reconsiders her stance on his other discoveries, Jonathan asserts,"ants can't dance," and scurries to his room to safeguard his private entertainment. Colorful cartoon illustrations blend well with the story, and youngsters will enjoy the clever lad's ultimate triumph over the knowledgeable grown-ups.
-Marie Orlando, Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Card catalog description
No one believes that Jonathan has an ant that dances, a peanut that talks, and a stone that whistles.



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