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Two Bad Ants

4.05  ·  Rating Details ·  2,487 Ratings  ·  271 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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(showing 1-30)
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Dec 03, 2007 Trista rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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?
Marcus Reeves
Oct 17, 2011 Marcus Reeves rated it it was amazing
gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo ...more
Feb 06, 2010 Emily rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-board
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
Jun 27, 2012 Fred rated it really liked it
A really cute book. Beautiful drawings. Unfortunate title, but you don't have to tell the preliterate kid what it's really called.
Apr 05, 2010 Ronyell rated it it was amazing
“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
Sep 16, 2011 Chrissy Muller rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 06, 2012 Vicky rated it liked it
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
Feb 27, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it
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
Jun 20, 2010 Angela rated it it was ok
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
Sep 20, 2011 Shauna rated it liked it
I'm not really into bugs, but i decided to give this book a try. I didn't really like this book. I'm sure it's because I'm older. This book didn't keep me interested. One thing i did like about the book was the illustrations. I loved how they kept it simple with the color. I also liked how the story intensified as it went on. Just when you thought it was over, the ants ended up into another situation. I thought it was funny how the ants traveled all around the kitchen.
Cassidy Wheeler
Sep 28, 2016 Cassidy Wheeler rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books, k-4
Two Bad Ants is a picture book about a colony of ants who find a sugar jar to take from. Two (very rebellious) ants decided they wanted to make this sugar jar their new home. What they didn't know about making this sugar jar their new home was all the trouble that would come with it. Best suited for 1st-3rd grade.
Sep 11, 2012 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Perfect for a mini-lesson on using prior knowledge to aid comprehension.
May 09, 2012 Arabella rated it it was amazing
It's a really good book from an ant's point of view. It's funny! You should read it.
Sadia Mansoor
Jan 23, 2017 Sadia Mansoor rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
A fine read... I like how the daily, normal things are described through the ant's point of view.
Its like how the ants see the huge human world with their tiny eyes.
Mar 20, 2017 TaylorCieslak rated it really liked it
Kindergarteners really enjoyed reading this book!
Hannah Julsrud
Feb 21, 2015 Hannah Julsrud rated it it was amazing
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
Caitlyn LeBeau
Feb 22, 2015 Caitlyn LeBeau rated it liked it
"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
Anna Baize
Feb 20, 2015 Anna Baize rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 20, 2015 Kevin Rosendale rated it really liked it
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
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
Shannon Alexander
Feb 18, 2014 Shannon Alexander rated it it was ok
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
Lindsey Mineweaser
Feb 26, 2015 Lindsey Mineweaser rated it it was amazing
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
Taylor Whittaker
Feb 22, 2015 Taylor Whittaker rated it really liked it
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
Jun 02, 2009 Bernadette rated it it was amazing
This book begins with a scout ant bringing a tasty crystal to the ant queen. She loved it so much that the ants were eager to bring more to her. The ants then carefully made their way through the grass listening for any danger. They made their way to a house and struggled to reach the top of the wall. Once inside the house, the unusual sights and smells confused them, but they found their treasure – the sugar bowl! Each ant climbed down into the bowl, chose a crystal, and headed home – all excep ...more
Alex Valenzuela
Feb 19, 2015 Alex Valenzuela rated it liked it
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
Brooke Leone
Feb 22, 2015 Brooke Leone rated it it was amazing
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
Christopher Seideman
May 02, 2015 Christopher Seideman rated it really liked it
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
Paola Galindo
Feb 22, 2015 Paola Galindo rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 19, 2012 Megan rated it really liked it
After discovering a seemingly magical crystal, two ants are sent on a quest to return more of the crystals to the hive. These two ants find themselves inside a strange world with no grass, no sky, and powerful fountains coming out of shiny metal tubes. They find themselves inside a human home. This strange new world is initially quite exciting to the ants. They find themselves inside a container of sugar and decide that they never need to return home. The ants quickly find themselves being poure ...more
Nov 20, 2012 Tami rated it really liked it
Title: Two Bad Ants Written and Illustrated by: Chris Van Allsburg Genre: Contemporary realistic fiction Age Level: 4 and up grade level p Date: October 1988
The ant scout goes home with a strange crystal; the queen of the ants decides it is the best thing she ever tasted. So the ants wanted to make the queen happy and set off on a journey to get as many of these crystals for the queen as possible. The ants do a great deal of traveling to get to the crystals. Their journey leads them to a kitchen
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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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