Reviewed by Alyssa Katanic
It’s an Orange Aardvark! by New York Times best-selling author Michael Hall is an adventure in colors that includes some imaginative ants with great personality.
It is a stormy day. Five little carpenter ants are snuggled up in an old tree trunk when thunder rumbles! One of them decides to drill a few holes into the trunk to see what could be making that rumbling sound. There is a little bit of fear of the unknown… but some excitement, too. What could be there? With every hole the ants see a new color and imagine new possibilities. Hole #1: It’s the color orange! A ripe, juice, sweet treat? Or maybe it is a big orange aardvark that is hungry for ants! Excitement builds with every hole the ants drill.
The artwork of It’s an Orange Aardvark!, also by Hall, is very much reminiscent of Eric Carle’s style of bold, bright, and somewhat chunky shades of color. The reader gets to see the gray inside of the tree trunk, the peephole “drilled” through the page to reveal a new color (again, very much in the style of Eric Carle), and (turn the page) the rainbow of colors of what the fearful ant imagines to be lurking outside.
Unlike many overly simplistic “Learn your colors, kids!” type of books, Hall has created a fun way for kids to explore color recognition without them realizing how much they are learning. He has even included some character development, as three ants remain positive, adventurous, and excited, another remains very fearful throughout, while the fifth must choose if he will remain fearful and miss out on the adventure, or brave the big, bold beautiful world.
Unlike many color-teaching books, It’s an Orange Aardvark! is one that both parent and child will enjoy reading together multiple times.
Alyssa Katanic is a wife and homeschooling mother of 7 children under 11 years old. She loves reading and collecting great books to share with others and knows that one can never have too many!
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Greenwillow Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.