Posts Tagged ‘Hey Little Ant’

HI, KOO! Illustration © Jon J. Muth

HI, KOO! Illustration © Jon J. Muth

Recently, I was shown this page from Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J. Muth (Scholastic Press). The image and haiku are very sweet, and true. I remember that feeling when I killed bugs, accidentally mainly, as a kid.  Those very same feelings led my daughter Hannah Hoose and I to write our picture book, Hey, Little Ant.

It also reminds me of what Richard Gere said when asked how to raise a Buddha baby.

“‘Teach them to respect insects.’  That is what the the Dalai Lama said. If they can learn to love something that to them is innately ugly and small, learn that an insect has the same life forece as they, that’s the beginning. And basically, you have to watch yourself. If you want your child to be special, you have to be special: generous, kind, loving, forgiving.” —Richard Gere

Jon J. Muth’s character Koo embodies the Dalai Lama’s message.  May young readers listen.  —Phillip Hoose


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Author Mary Pipher

Phillip and Hannah Hoose’s picture book, Hey, Little Ant is included in Mary Pipher’s forthcoming book, The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture, her look at the psychological and cultural factors that keep us from facing our enormous global perils, mainly global climate change.

“This delightful book has the staying power of an Aesop fable. Children and adults love this story which helps develop the moral imagination and teaches an appreciation of point of view. If our world changes for the better, it will be because of books like Hey, Little Ant.” –Mary Pipher

Mary, thank you for all you do to make this a better planet.

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Thank you to Flashlight Press for telling us about the appearance of Hey, Little Ant in an Israeli children’s wildlife magazine called Iton Chai.

Hey Nemala! is a funny, book that provokes thought through an entertaining discussion between two creatures, large and small. The book encourages children to formulate opinions about animals, peer pressure, and ways to deal with violence. What does the boy decide? To find out, you’ll have to read the book. Amazing illustrations by Debbie Tilley emphasize the conflict between large and small.”

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Thanks to Ada Moreau Demlow of  The Librarian Life for featuring Hey, Little Ant as “a great tool to kick off conversations about bullying, animal rights, use and abuse of power, and other related issues.”  Here’s to the librarians’ life of connecting kids and books!

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If all the world thought as deeply about sharing as Mrs. Nichol’s class did, the planet would be a more equitable place.  Listen to the other advise they composed together after reading Hey, Little Ant:

-At a play date, let the brother or sister play too.

-In Library, if two people want the same book be kind and let the other person have it.

-At home when you are watching T.V., look for a show that everyone will like.

-At hockey, if you want to be goalie let your friend go first.

The Ant is quite pleased that you would let him be hockey goalie first, put he is a little worried about the size of that puck.  Speaking of squishing…

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Hey, Little Ant began as a song written by Phillip and Hannah Hoose in 1992 and has been sung by various performers all over the world.

As a thank you to all the educators and readers that have sung along, the original recording featuring Phillip and Hannah Hoose is now available as a free MP3 download!

Right click your mouse here and select “Save Link As” to capture the MP3.


(Kid:) Hey, little ant, down in that crack
Can you see me?  Can you talk back?
See my shoe, can you see that?
Well, now it’s gonna squish you flat!

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Since the boy is more powerful than the ant, does that mean it’s okay for him to squish the ant?  Can you think of anyone you are more powerful than?  Does that mean its okay for you to hurt them?

These are just some of the questions posed by Lauren Flinner at Teaching Children Philosophy.  The site helps you use Hey, Little Ant in a thoughtful conversation with children about the complexities of our feelings towards animals, peer pressure, power, responsibility, respect, and reasoning.

Does the book answer any of these questions?  Nope.  We hope, only, that the book is a conversation starter or a path to pondering.

Thanks Lauren Flinner for this fabulous tool.

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