One summer, when I was 4 or 5, I found a little black ant crawling around the kitchen. For reasons I don't remember now, I decided I loved her and that we were best friends. I named her Cindy (my favorite name at the time) and took her back outside so she wouldn't be squished in the house. We played together all day and I returned her to her anthill that evening. First thing next morning, I was on my stomach in front of the anthill, calling for her. She came running out, all excited to have another fun day with me. This continued on for a solid week, maybe two.
In retrospect, I feel sad for the poor scout ant I plucked from its duty and then returned to some random anthill where it was probably killed and eaten. I also feel sorry for every ant I kidnapped from that anthill each morning and inadvertently tortured as we "played" together all day. I was a terrible child.
And yet, Hank's Big Day is the exact same story only with a much better outcome, the outcome I believed was happening when I played with my best friend, Cindy.
Hank the roly poly gets up every day, eats a bit of dead leaf, walks by a bunch of insects, does some exercise, and then crosses the sidewalk to meet up with his best friend, a human girl whose hero is Amelia Earhart. Hank and his friend have lovely adventures until the day ends and Hank has to cross back over the sidewalk, do some exercise, walk by a bunch of insects, eat a bit of dead leaf, and go to bed so he can do it all again the next day.
This story is adorable. Hank is the cutest pill bug ever and you'll note from the cover that his best friend is not a little white kid. See, publishing world? Was that so hard? NO. It wasn't.
Best of all, though, is I can relate to this solid bug/girl friendship and it makes me feel warm and crawly inside.