It’s the time of year when Ruby comes into possession of many new books, first for her birthday, and then for Christmas. This is one I gave her, and which she took time to enjoy in the midst of things. (I love it.)
Ursula Dubosarsky and Tohby Riddle, The March of the Ants (Book Trail 2021)
Full disclosure: Ursula Dubosarsky and Tohby Riddle are friends of mine.
They’re also both geniuses, who have collaborated on a number of books for children. This gorgeous picture book is the latest. The text was read by Ursula at her launch as Australian Children’s Laureate in February 2020. Neither she nor Tohby could have known that its message about the importance of story had a prophetic relevance for the two years that lay ahead.
A group of ants set out on an excursion. Every one of them carries something important for the enterprise. When one little ant shows up with just a book, there is much mockery. But the little ant persists. Later when all the others are tired from their exertions and the food and drink have run out, the little ant reads to the others, and they are revived by the story.
Tohby’s images are masterly, full of odd details without being at all crowded.
Here’s a video of a laurel-crowned Ursula reading the book, from the Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation webpage
The March of the Ants is the 15th and final book I’ve read for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2021.