Lucas's funny glasses and strange hat make him a perfect target for Sid, the neighborhood bully, and, since Lucas can't fight Sid, he tortures defenseless ants instead. Then the ants retaliate, and their queen shrinks Lucas to their size, forcing him into a life of hard labor with the worker ants. When he is given the supreme test of bringing the queen a red Swell Jell candy from his home, the boy shows his true mettle, protecting his partners from being swatted by his father. In gratitude, the queen returns him to his normal size, shrinking Sid instead. With the current popularity of the animated movies Antz and A Bug's Life, this title is timed just right for success, but the book falls short. The message is certainly clear, and Nickle's full-page acrylic paintings are bright, funny, and appealing. The text, however, is only average. The sentences are choppy, lack variety in their structure, and leave out potentially interesting details. Still, since the theme of a bully's getting his comeuppance continues to appeal to youngsters, the story is a suitable additional purchase for those collections in which books such as Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's King of the Playground (Atheneum, 1991) are popular. Nancy Menaldi-Scanlan, LaSalle Academy, Providence, RI Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.