What Does An Anteater Eat?
“Sometimes the simplest stories are the best.”
What Does an Anteater Eat? comes with a gray, black, and white anteater on a red background. The first edition had a yellow background. The color change was a good move.
The first double-page spread has only two words on it: “I’m hungry.” The second double-page spread has no words on it. Rather, it shows the anteater walking in search of food. The third double-page spread shows the anteater asking a sloth what an anteater eats. The sloth is too busy and doesn’t answer the question (adult humor). The anteater apologizes.
On the next spread, the anteater asks a toucan what he should eat. The toucan answers, “Watermelon.” The anteater tries it, but his mouth isn’t wide enough. Then he asks a snake, but the snake doesn’t know. He tells the anteater to chew his food, while the art shows a lump in the snake’s body. Ants are climbing on the snake.
The pattern repeats itself as the anteater asks a crocodile, some bats, and a jaguar, but no one can tell the anteater what he should eat. Finally he comes across a huge anthill with ants pouring out of it. There is also a banana in the foreground, if one looks closely.
The best spread is when the ants see the anteater, and someone yells, “Run!” The anteater holds his claw to his chest in surprise. He gets a clue on the second to last page.
The surprise ending shows him eating the banana. The book is funny on lots of levels, some for the child, some for the adult or older reader. All in all, the book is charming, fun, and colorful. It looks so simple, but in its 200 or fewer words, it tells a complete story in a clever way.
The front endpapers show lots of blue sky, some green grass and one ant. The back endpapers show lots of blue sky, some brown ground, and several banana peels.
The watercolor art is crisp with black charcoal outlines, and the words are black. The backgrounds are done in mostly solid blues, but also pinks, greens, yellows, purples, and reds on other pages. The result is one big colorful book.
The short read and the engaging art make this a great choice for bedtime or any time.
Sometimes the simplest stories are the best.