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It's an Orange Aardvark!
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It's an Orange Aardvark!

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  605 Ratings  ·  137 Reviews
Acclaimed New York Times-bestselling picture book creator Michael Hall delivers a funny and suspenseful story about colors, ants, aardvarks, and rainbows that will appeal to Lois Ehlert fans and fans of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. Another winner from the author of My Heart Is Like a Zoo, Perfect Square, and Cat Tale!

Five carpenter ants at home in their tree
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published April 22nd 2014 by Greenwillow Books
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Blizzard by John RoccoBreaking News by David BiedrzyckiDog vs. Cat by Chris GallEIEIO by Judy SierraFlight School by Lita Judge
SCBAN 2016-2017
10th out of 78 books — 1 voter
Perfect Square by Michael  HallRed by Michael  HallMy Heart Is Like a Zoo by Michael  HallCat Tale by Michael  HallIt's an Orange Aardvark! by Michael  Hall
Best of Michael Hall
5th out of 5 books — 1 voter

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Kayla Edwards
A cute story about some ants who are making up wild stories about the bright colors they see through a tiny whole to the outside. The artwork is reminiscent of Eric Carle, whom I love. A really cute story that makes a fun read aloud and discussion piece.
Jolene Aho
“It’s an Orange Aardvark!” is about carpenter ants who decide to drill a hole in their stump to see what is outside. Every time they drill a new hole, they see a different color. One ant is convinced that it is an orange aardvark, wearing blue pajamas, holding red ketchup, with green geckos, waiting to eat them. In the end, you see that it was a rainbow outside their stump, and the ants go out to see it. On the last page though, you see the aardvark sitting on the stump.
This is a picture book b
Sep 29, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
Fun book! I like how the ants each have their own personality that stays consistent throughout the book.

The ants definitely aren't playing in this book, but it feels playful to me as a reader since after a while, I'm pretty sure there's not going to be a blue-pajama'd orange aardvark herding green geckos, etc. etc. With each hole that is drilled, another color is revealed along with the red-hatted ant's dire predictions of what's to come. This feels like peek-a-boo or hide and seek to me and I t
Feb 21, 2015 Gloria rated it it was amazing
Aardvarks rock! (Yes, I went to Harvard!) This is a charming tale of carpenter ants using the scientific method in hilarious ways to identify the source of a mysterious sound outside their ant hill. The last page is priceless!
Oct 03, 2014 Pam rated it it was amazing
If you have a little one in your life, run right out to a library and check out It's an Orange Aardvark! You'll laugh out loud at the carpenter ants in little hard hats and the orange aardvark wearing pajamas. This book is a hoot for both kids and parents!
Sep 08, 2014 Susan rated it it was amazing
Wow, just when you think you cannot find a new way to talk about colors, here one comes. A mystery and a concept book, a dash of zoology thrown in, and fun cut-outs to boot. This will be a real hoot at storytime.
Feb 20, 2015 Jeimy rated it it was amazing
Favorite line: "Aardvarks prefer their ants with lots of ketchup, you know."

Great book to teach colors!
Edward Sullivan
Jan 01, 2014 Edward Sullivan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Beware of pajama-wearing, ketchup-carrying, gecko-guiding, dozer-driving orange aardvark's pouring purple grape juice!
Mary Lee
May 13, 2014 Mary Lee rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
New version of the blind men and the elephant?
Jun 27, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing
This was adorable and fun :)
Feb 25, 2015 A rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Croaning
Oct 20, 2016 Stephanie Croaning rated it really liked it
It's an Orange Aardvark!
by Michael Hall
Greenwillow Books, 2014
ISBN 978-0-06-225206-7
36 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 30 cm
Picture book, fiction
YHBA picture book nominee, 2016
Interest level: PreK-1st; Reading level: 2.9
4 out of 5 stars

This is an engaging story that young children will delight in. The colorful illustrations tell the story of 5 carpenter ants living in a stump. Their colorful hardhats help readers tell them apart and learn their individual personalities. The red carpent
Jun 03, 2014 Tasha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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 ...more
Jun 14, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it
Shelves: age-0-7, reviewed, slj
ARC via School Library Journal (for review)
Using an illustration style reminiscent of Lois Ehlert and storytelling similar to Eric Carle, this tale of imagination succeeds in it’s bold simplicity. Five carpenter ants, with distinct personalities to delight readers, use the length of the book to discover what is making noise outside of their home. During the course of drilling holes to see what’s causing such a ruckus, the ants take us on exploration of color, revealing the magnificent surprise a
John Kurtze
Feb 05, 2015 John Kurtze rated it it was amazing
Mix carpenter ants, colors, and an aardvark together and you have a great new Michael Hall picture book that stimulates children’s imaginations. In Michael Hall’s latest book IT’S AN ORANGE AARDVARK!, he creates a story showing how an active imagination can create an interesting story. Featuring five carpenter ants, Hall’s story unfolds describing how one of the carpenter ants wonders what is outside their tree stump. He drills a hole in the wall of the stump and an orange light shines through. ...more
Nola Decker
May 19, 2014 Nola Decker rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The author, Michael Hall, visited my son's school recently in support of this book. I always like to support authors brave enough to do school visits because I know that those visits are often a lot of effort for only a tiny payoff. Unfortunately for the author, the school (or maybe my son's teacher) seemed to drop the ball with promotion. The pre-order form did not make it home with my son and when I emailed secretary to find out how to buy a copy through them on the day of his visit, I never ...more
May 12, 2016 Kelly rated it liked it
It's an Orange Aardvark! by Michael Hall is a nominee for the 2016-17 South Carolina Picture Book Award.

After hearing a noise in their tree stump home, five carpenter ants wonder what awaits them outside. Could it be a big, gray aardvark, just waiting on some juicy ants to gobble up? Instead of wondering, one ant bores several holes in the stump, and colors begin to pour in.

Orange is the first color the ants see, so, of course, they assume that it's an orange aardvark ready for a tasty meal. Af
Alyssa Madden
5 carpenter ants hear some noise outside like rumbling, one thinks that it is an Aardvark, the other’s take a little bit more persuading. One ant drills holes to see the outside and starts seeing different colors, each time a color is said, they add something that might be on or with the aardvark, then they compare those colors with other things they know are the same colors. Do they finally see what's out side? Is it an Orange Aardvark?

An activity that might be fun with this book is to have the
Steve Bryant
Jun 09, 2014 Steve Bryant rated it it was amazing
It begins with a boom and a couple of rumbles from a storm cloud …

Does this spell doom for the occupants of a lonely stump, or is it a prelude to a post-storm rainbow?

The occupants are five carpenter ants with an eye to safety--they wear hard hats--who wonder what lies outside their tree-stump sanctuary when they hear a suspicious thunk. With delightful sound effects, they drill peepholes in the stump (corresponding peepholes appear in the pages of this colorful Michael Hall book) to investigate
Jennifer Haight
May 18, 2014 Jennifer Haight rated it really liked it
Aardvarks are scary! At least if you’re an ant they are. In this fun and laugh-filled picture book by Michael Hall, a group of ants who are tunneling through the dirt are confronted with an unexpected orange object. They assume it’s an aardvark. The ants are convinced that aardvarks turn orange when they’re hungry for ants.

The ants continue to see a spectrum of colors which they predict all belong to ant devouring aardvarks. The ants have unmistakable expressions of joy, fear, excitement and ter
Lucy Barker
Oct 03, 2014 Lucy Barker rated it it was amazing
Where do I start with this magnificently crazy book? Let's try a simple list. In this book you will see:

* ants drilling
* pages with holes
* an aardvark in increasingly complex but colourful circumstances
*a rainbow

I might need to work on this review a little... An ant drills a hole in the stump he lives in to find out what's outside. There's always a party pooper in the group and old red-hat says, "Wait. What if there's an aardvark out there?"

Luckily the hole But then old poopy pan
Oct 25, 2015 Mackenzie rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
5 carpenter ants fear something outside their stump is there to eat them. They decide to drill holes in their home to find out what is lurking outside. The first whole they see orange so they think it is an orange aardvark trying to eat them. With every hole drilled, a new color emerges and a new fear something to going to eat them. In the end, all the colors together form a rainbow. They see how lovely it is and fly way in happiness.

Every student picks their favorite color and d
Josie B.
Mar 24, 2016 Josie B. rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime
Is there really an orange aardvark in blue pajamas waiting to eat the carpenter ants when the leave their stump? The two four year old classes I tired this out on today laughed as each new explanation was made for the colors revealed by the drilling carpenter ants. I paired this with Giant Pop-Out Bugs for a bug themed storytime.

Update: This week I used this as an introduction to a color themed Science program for ages 3-5. I asked the children if you could smell colors. We went through each of
Aug 31, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 13, 2014 Diane rated it it was amazing
One brave ant wants to see beyond his stump and drills a hold to see what's "out there." When they can only see a bit of orange, another ant frets that it's an orange aardvark. So the brave ant drills another hole and hits another color: blue. "Like the ocean! Cool." "No, like an orange aardvark wearing blue pajamas." The ant keeps drilling and finding new colors to which the other ant always has a fear inspired idea about what's "out there."

If you're afraid to look outside your comfort zone, yo
Jul 07, 2015 Susie rated it really liked it
Shelves: texas-2x2
Rating: 4

Appropriate for 2 years to grade 2

Two page spread with bright colored characters against neutral backgrounds (dark for inside the stump and white for outside the stump), and strategically placed holes. Text is placed by speaker (or where speaker would be).

"A carpenter ant drills a hole to see what is outside his stump, worrying his fellow ants, and when new holes reveal different colors they fabricate a story abou the horrible beast that will soon attack."

"Uh-oh / Don't go
It's a pajam
My daughter loved this book. She thought it was funny and loved the rainbow colors. Her reaction surprised me. She often gets fearful of perceived danger so I thought she would be upset over the aardvark trying to eat the ants. However, she found it funny and wanted to re-read it.

Pros: An imaginative, colorful story awaits young readers (and aardvark lovers).

Read whether we recommend buying or borrowing this book in the full review at The Reading Tub. You can add your review, too.
Traci Bold
May 24, 2015 Traci Bold rated it really liked it
The ants need a clear picture of what's outside their tree. Ant 1 drills a hole. He swears it's an orange aardvark ready to eat the ants up. He needs a clearer picture, so he drills another hole. Now he swears an orange aardvark wearing blue pajamas awaiting the ants for a bedtime snack. He needs another hole.

The picture gets more clear with each new hole. The ants see every color of the rainbow.

They might even see an orange aardvark.

Author and illustrator, Michael Hall, sends us through a fun r
Jul 23, 2014 Lara rated it it was amazing
This funny story has ants panicking and one growing increasingly more alarmed at the elaborate aardvark that MUST be waiting outside to eat them all. The books is about being overly cautious, drawing conclusions too quickly and yet also about the danger of complacency and lack of imagination as well as paying attention to what others are telling you and not immediately discrediting. That makes it sound so complicated but it's really simple and funny, letting the readers absorb the ideas without ...more
Feb 14, 2016 Jon rated it it was amazing
What a great read! I heard Michael Hall speak yesterday in Minneapolis at Books and Breakfast. His book It's an Orange Aardvark! was one of my treasures from the morning. Young readers/listeners can practice their skill of prediction while the carpenter ants are busy throughout the book trying to discover what is beyond their tree stump. The torn paper artwork offers an Eric Carle-like feel. The holes in the pages might remind readers of Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.
Michael Hall is the creator of the nationally best-selling picture book My Heart Is Like a Zoo, as well as the acclaimed Perfect Square. He is the co-owner and principal designer at Hall Kelley, Inc., and lives with his family in Minnesota.
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