3 out of 4 stars
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Otto Ant, If an Ant Can, I Can is a children’s book by Wendy Marentette Ford. Otto is an ant foreman who wears a construction helmet. He directs and encourages the other ants to do the necessary tasks to keep the colony running effectively. He also addresses young readers, encouraging them to believe in themselves and to work towards their goals while helping others. Otto stresses that when people believe in themselves and work together, anything is possible.
This book is written for early readers in the pre-school to second grade range. Not only is the story engaging and encouraging, but the text is simple enough that parents and teachers can help children learn how to read on their own using this book. The book is formatted with both cartoon-style panels and with the same text written in a standard book format beside the pictures.
I give If an Ant Can, I Can three out of four stars. The story was engaging and encouraging, and I enjoyed it very much. Although the author identifies as Christian and states that she was encouraged by God to write the book, the story isn’t at all preachy and is appropriate even for public school settings and non-religious households. The illustrations were pleasant to look at, and Otto is an engaging and friendly character.
The book had the same error in two different places: a missing apostrophe. This occurred in the chapter title and did not impact the book’s readability in any way. I am not sure if the book was professionally edited as I feel that a professional editor would have caught the issue with the missing apostrophe, but the story flowed well and there were no other errors.
There was nothing that I really disliked about the book, but I had some issues with the formatting. I realize that part of the problem may be the way my computer interacts with the book. I read the book in Kindle format. The text was small and even though I increased the font size, the text remained small. I had to physically move closer to my computer screen to be able to read it.
I absolutely recommend If an Ant Can, I Can as a book that parents can feel confident about giving to their young children. There is nothing questionable or potentially disturbing in the story. Kids will like Otto and his encouraging message. They will also enjoy Otto’s trivia about ants. I think that the book is a fun reminder for adults to believe in themselves too.
Otto Ant, If An Ant Can, I can
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