This book's marvelous photos may attract browsers, but its text leaves something to be desired. In the simple scenario, a black ant sets out on a walk and readers are invited to come along. A close-up of the insect is followed by a series of photo spreads depicting the various creatures that cross its path, including three types of grasshoppers, a stag beetle, and a Japanese tree frog. The ant is not shown again until the end, although an icon of it appears throughout. One or two short sentences appear on each page, most of which are enclosed in narrow yellow rectangles overlaid on the photographs. Breezy in tone and functioning more like informal picture captions than a coherent narrative, the text briefly identifies each creature by common name and occasionally comments on a distinctive physical characteristic. The photos are remarkably detailed; most are so magnified that the hairs on various insects' bodies are clearly visible. It takes two spreads to show a migratory locust in its entirety. Very little information about the featured animals is provided, however; also, the terms "nectar" and "pollen" are mentioned but not defined. All in all, the book has a weak story line: not much happens in this walk with an ant. Joy Cowley's beautifully photographed Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Scholastic, 1999) is a more exciting natural-history adventure.–Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library
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