It’s an Orange Aardvark! by Michael Hall
Five little ants are woken up by the sound of rain outside their tree stump. In order to figure out what is making the noise, they drill holes in the stump to look outside. One ant explains that aardvarks are gray and sneaky, and of course hungry for ants! But when they drill the first hole, they see orange not gray. Perhaps it’s an orange aardvark come to eat them! They drill another hole and that one shows blue, so they think it’s an orange aardvark wearing blue pajamas. As they drill more holes, more colors are shown and their story about the orange aardvark gets more and more elaborate. Savvy young readers will know what all of these colors mean, but the pleasure of this book is seeing just how silly the little ants become.
Hall is the author of My Heart Is Like a Zoo and continues to display his skill with bright colors, large formats and die cuts in this new title. The mix of surprise, guessing and silliness makes this book great fun to read. Add in identifying different colors and the book becomes almost a game to read aloud. Even better, there is wonderful suspense with each page turn as the ants come up with their next spectacular speculation.
Done in large format and pops of bright colors, the illustrations have the same appeal as Lois Ehlert and Eric Carle with their sharp edges and cut paper format. The die cuts are used just enough to make the book more suspenseful and fun. They also all line up, consistent throughout the book.
A jolly picture book that is full of fun, this is a colorful and witty way to learn about colors and aardvarks. Appropriate for ages 2-4.
Reviewed from copy received from Greenwillow Books.