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Two Bad Ants

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  2,093 ratings  ·  246 reviews
The three-time Caldecott medalist tells the tale of two ants who decide to leave the safety of the others to venture into a danger-laden kitchen.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 24th 1988 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Marcus Reeves
gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ...more
This is a great book about perspective. It is illustrated from an ant's perspective. The illustrations and story are fantastic. What Van Allsburg book wouldn't be?
Interesting, geometric illustrations from an ant's perspective, but what lesson are kids supposed to learn from this story? Stick with the crowd, don't rock the boat, conform - because trying something new is dangerous? Curiosity killed the cat (or almost killed the ants, I guess)?

I think I'd probably notice two ants swimming in a cup of something I was drinking. And does anyone think ants really would have survived the toaster? Mr. Van Allsburg needs to review his basic science about electricit
This delightfully written and illustrated picture book follows two ants after they decide to stay behind at the end of an excursion into a house and a sugar bowl. The illustrations show all their misadventures as the inhabitant on the house wakes up and starts his day. By the end of it all, after they've almost been drowned, cooked, and electrocuted, they are ready to head back home. Sometimes it's NOT a good idea to head off on your own. This is a great book to read aloud without showing the pi ...more
“Two Bad Ants” is a unique little book by Chris Van Allsburg, author of “Jumanji” about how two ants learn the hard way about the consequences of disobeying your elders. “Two Bad Ants” is definitely a book about danger that will excite children for a long time.

Chris Van Allsburg has done a terrific job with both the illustrations and the story as he makes the story as dramatic as he can. Chris Van Allsburg’s story is exciting and intense at the same time as he makes it seem that the story is be
Chrissy Muller
This story had such a great message at the end of it! The bad ants realized that in order to be truly happy (and safe) they needed to be at home where they were needed and appreciated by their mother. This whole book was filled with vivid personification and description of these two bad ants and gave much insight as to what their feelings were at every given moment. I'm positive this book would be loved by most if not all children because ants are something that they see mostly every day and the ...more
This book was very sweet, and had a good message at the end. In the beginning, the two bad ants decided that they wanted to be independent and tried to steer away from the colony and do whatever they wanted to do. However, once the two ants get into this "new world" they realize that it's not all what it is cut out to be. The ants get into situations that they almost don't escape, and they soon wish that they had never left the colony. When they finally do return back to the colony, they don't e ...more
Adam Marquis
I don't have many books to read to my girlfriend's three year old. This is because most authors seem to target small children by simply writing for stupid people, and tiny people are different from stupid people in a whole bunch of ways. Tiny people have no strong opinions on the estate tax, for example.

The story is simple enough for a toddler to wrap their head around but the author doesn't walk you through it as though you've a traumatic head injury. It's enjoyable to watch a toddler wrap thei
Christopher Seideman
If you’ve ever observed a colony of ants scavenging for food, then you know how quickly they can organize once they’ve found a source. In a whimsical book about the antics of two rogue ants, Allsburg discusses the value in serving others, while tackling selfishness and theft all in one fell swoop. During what begins as a standard collecting mission from a kitchen’s sugar bowl after the sweet gems are discovered by a colony scout, our two bra… er, courag… um, heroes? No? Our protagonists decide t ...more
Laura Mueller
Laura Mueller
February 2, 2015
EDL53500 Library Materials for Children and Youth

Title: Two Bad Ants

Author: Chris Van Allsburg

Plot: The story is about a group of ants that travel into a home to find food and bring it back to the anthill. The two ants stay behind and eat the sugar from the sugar jar while the rest of the aunts take it back home. From there, the aunts go on a wild journey throughout the house and try to survive. Eventually, they hear the familiar sound of the ants coming for food and
Lindsey Mineweaser
This story is about two ants that decide to stray away from their group. They were originally on a mission to bring the queen crystals. However, they got side tracked and decided they wanted to stay with the crystals instead of taking any back to the queen. The ants face many problems such as being dumped in a lake and thrown into a cave. Finally, the ants learn their lesson and they return back with the rest of their group.

The illustrations in this book use every type of line. There are diagon
Brooke Leone
Chris Van Allsberg tells the story of Two Bad Ants who after getting sugar from a house do not return to their colony but stay in the house and have a few extra adventures. Everything is told from the ants point of view which makes it very interesting.

As I said, everything was told and illustrated from the ants point of view. For example, when the ants are stealing sugar from the house, they call them "crystals" and they are illustrated as giant crystals on top of the ants backs. In reality, on
Taylor Whittaker
I wasn't sure what to expect when I picked up the story of Two Bad Ants. I knew since it was Chris Van Allsburg, it was bound to be something good, and it was. This is a story of two ants who leave the rest and find an adventure of their own. An army of ants parades to a magical place to bring back crystals for the Queen of all ants...magical place being a house, and the crystals being sugar. This story touches on the theme of cooperation and the illustrations in the perspective of an ant, bring ...more
Caitlyn LeBeau
"Two Bad Ants" by Chris Van Allsburg is a children's picture book about 2 ants adventure. They are living in a colony controlled by a queen ant. One day one of the fellow ants brought the queen a "crystal" to eat. She ate it and thought it was delicious. She demanded that the colony go out and bring her back more of these delicious crystals. The ants marched together to a house and got the crystals, which were actually just sugar. 2 of the ants thought why should they go back home when this plac ...more
Paola Galindo
This story is about two ants who go to find some crystals for their queen, but decide to stick around in the sugar jar and have all the crystals to themselves. This backfires as the ants are thrown around the kitchen and have to survive various breakfast foods before realizing that they would much rather be home than have to go through breakfast again.
I thought that the story was really clever and fun. I like that the story keeps the readers guessing as to what is happening to the ants in each
Hannah Julsrud
Two Bad Ants, by Chris Van Allsburg tells the tale of two independent little ants who decide to make their own decision and stray from their colony. When one scout ant brings back a delicious crystal for the queen, they are all sent on a long journey to bring more back. Through grueling forests and over towering mountains, the ants finally reach the source of where the crystals were coming from. As each ant took one crystal for the queen and headed back, two ants decided to stay there because th ...more
Anna Baize
This book tells the story of ants as they go on a journey to find crystals (sugar) in a kitchen. Two ants decide that instead of continually returning to take crystals they should just stay and eat all they want. They stay in the sugar jar, only to be startled awake by the start of a traumatic journey. They are scooped into a cup of coffee, spend time in a toaster, get washed down a drain and tossed around a garbage disposal, and are ejected from an electric outlet. After this series of dramatic ...more
Kevin Rosendale
Two Bad Ants is a fun read for all ages. The story is about two ants who decide to break off from the group and keep all the sugar for themselves. As any children's story would have it, ended badly for the ants. One thing that was unique to this story was the illustrators use of lines in the illustrations. Every object in the story had very distinct lines whether they were made of vertical lines horizontal lines or diagonal. This really brought the pictures to life and helped add texture to thes ...more
Becca Hopkins
The book Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg is a book about two ants a an adventure of theirs. The start of going in search for these big crystals that they found and are amused by. What they don't know is what the crystals really are. They get in trouble with the places they are ending up and every time they try to escape trouble just keeps coming their way.

One thing I found rather unique about this book is how it is being told. It is being told as if we are the ants. For example is says that t
Alex Valenzuela
Two Bad Ants, written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, tells the story of two ants, who after being sent out by the ant queen along with all the other ants to fetch delicious crystals, decide to stay in this brand new world and live there. This new realm that the ants are living in, a kitchen, proves to be too much and after several horrifying adventures, the two ants return home with their fellow ants.

This book is very interesting and the way the author sets up the book is what makes it
Kendall Bayer
Two Bad Ants is an award-winning tale about a pair of ants that accompany their friends and family on a trip to find sacred sweet crystals (sugar) for their queen. However, when they reach the house where the sugar is found they decide to stay behind so that they can have all the sugar to themselves. They eat sugar late into the night until they are so full that they fall asleep. They are awoken in the morning by a spoon scooping them into someone’s coffee. Throughout the day the ants try to eva ...more
The Book Maven
Horrifying, on so many levels.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm an old-fashioned kinda girl; I have no problems reading the little darlings the old-school, scary versions of the fairy tales, for example. But this book...I dunno. Something makes me hesitate to recommend it as a book to share with the kiddles. Also, it makes me never want to have a decorative, non-sealed sugar jar again, ever.

Basically, the premise is this: a colony of ants discovers a great big supply of sugar crystals to bring to the
Maddie Sharp
This book is great for students to see the world in another way as well as learning a few valuable lessons. Chris Van Allsburg writes this book from the perspective of ants which is something I haven’t ever experienced in a book. As ants make the journey to find their beloved crystals, they encounter many obstacles. To them everything is big, water droplets, fireflies, brick walls, but that does not stop them. They reach their destination, and they scout out their crystals. Just like any group o ...more
Taylor De La Fe
This was a cute story about ants who found a delicious treat in a house. They did not know where they were, but they knew that they wanted to stay there forever so they could always eat the delicious treat. In the morning, though, when the house came to life, the ants found themselves becoming more and more disoriented because they kept having to move from one treacherous place to the next. This is a great story to read to show perspective and also to talk about doing what you are supposed to do ...more
Shannon Alexander
In "Two Bad Ants," one day an ant brings back a crystal to the queen. She tastes the crystal and finds it delicious and devours it quickly. All of the ants in the colony know that the well-being of their clan depends on the queen ant's happiness, so they set out to find more crystals and bring them back to her. The book illustrates a different perspective than what humans are used to seeing. The ants go through grass but describe it as a forest, and describe a brick wall as a mountain. The ants ...more
Danielle Boles
Two Bad Ants by Chris Van Allsburg is a story about an ant who finds a crystal and presents it to the queen of the ants. She immediately loved it and wanted more crystals. She sent the ants out to find more crystals for her to eat. The scout who had found the crystals led them into a home and they found more crystals, which realistically ended up being sugar. Two of the ants decided to stay behind and eat all of the sugar until they were completely full. They were woken up by a giant spoon that ...more
Terry Lee
Van Allsburg, Chris. Two Bad Ants. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1988. Target Audience: Ages 4-8. Reading Level: 3.9. Two “bad” ants travel far from their home field into an urban kitchen to gather sugar crystals for their beloved queen. While there, they selfishly and shamelessly desert their colony with the intention of spending the rest of their lives eating sugar. What follows is a sequence of calamities so dangerous that the ants are nearly killed. The action is gripping; I couldn’t see ...more
Emily Scott

When an ant scout returns home with a mysterious crystal, the queen ant decides it is the most delicious food she has ever tasted. That evening the other ants, wishing to make the queen happy, set off on a journey to fetch home as many of these crystals as they can carry. The journey is a dangerous one. Following the scout, the ants travel through the "forest" to the "mountain" they must climb in order to reach the treasure they seek. In the perilous and confounding world of the human kitchen, t
I guess it was supposed to be clever how the ants saw various kitchen areas as harsh obstacles, with only the illustrations making it clear what the obstacles were. That idea was a little too complicated for my toddler to catch onto, though. I liked the illustrations, but they too were a little too complex for him. Mostly the entrepreneur in me objected to the theme. If we all keep working for "the man" -- and stop trying to get a piece of the prize for ourselves -- we'll avoid potential pitfall ...more
Mitzy Rodriguez
Chris Van Allsburg writes this book from the perspective of ants. As ants make the journey to find their beloved crystals, they encounter many obstacles. To them everything is big, water droplets, fireflies, brick walls, but that does not stop them. They reach their destination, and they scout out their crystals. Just like any group of people there are always a few that do not follow the rules. A couple of ants decide that this new location is better than their home, they stay with the crystals ...more
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Chris Van Allsburg: 1 1 11 Feb 20, 2012 07:23PM  
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Chris was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on June 18, 1949, the second child of Doris Christiansen Van Allsburg and Richard Van Allsburg. His sister Karen was born in 1947.

Chris’s paternal grandfather, Peter, owned and operated a creamery, a place where milk was turned into butter, cream, cottage cheese, and ice cream. It was named East End Creamery and after they bottled the milk (and made the ot
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