"And as the germs infiltrated, all the world watched and waited."
This colorful picture book features the little ant and his battle against an army of angry germs. When the ant learns his neighborhood is under attack, he must call on his colony and good friends for help. An epic battle ensues, and in the end, it is up to the smallest bugs to fight the virus and save the world. Can they do it? Check it out and see! For children ages 3-8. A 2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Award winner. Featured in Jersey's Best and Story Monsters Ink magazines.
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by Amy Byrnes | For Jersey's Best Magazine Thur., Mar. 4, 2021
The magnitude of the coronavirus pandemic over the last year could make anyone feel small. Between the global scope, the narrowing of our lives and needing to wear face masks every time we leave our house — it’s enough to make even the toughest adult want to crawl into a hole and hide.
So, imagine what it’s like to live through all of this as a little kid.
Nutley resident Ilene Dudek did. The mother of two and author of the “Little Ant Stories” picture book series has shrunk the coronavirus down to ant-sized proportions to help children make sense of the pandemic in her sixth and latest installment.
Check out the Book Trailer for Little Ant & the Epic Battle!
I wrote this story at the height of NJ's coronavirus outbreak. The entire state was on lockdown, schools were closed, and we were afraid to leave our homes, even for groceries. It was such a dark time. Yet out of the darkness, came a little bit of light — the inspiration behind my new book Little Ant & the Epic Battle.
But that light didn't come quickly! When the pandemic first hit, I (like many) was filled with fear and anxiety as I put my own career aside to homeschool my children. I couldn't find my inspiration! I was on autopilot, just trying to get through another day.
And then, everything changed. One night, I had gone out for my millionth walk (because that's all we were allowed to do!) and instead of walking straight, I turned right. I am so glad that I did! I ran into my sons' old daycare teacher, and a good friend of mine. We chatted for a while, and out of an ordinary conversation, came this incredible spark of an idea. It was all I needed to start writing again!
Little Ant & the Epic Battle was written the very next day. It is now available on Amazon.com and it is by far, my favorite story. It is so personal to me. It was inspired by the pandemic, but teaches the importance of good hygiene and healthy habits when it comes to fighting ANY germs. It is entertaining, educational, and above all, empowering.
I really loved writing this book. I hope you enjoy reading it!
The day the whole world shut down.
2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Award Winner
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Ilene Dudek is an award-winning author and illustrator from Nutley, NJ. In 2017, she began writing her Little Ant children's series. Since then, she has completed six books in the series. All six books have been featured in the 2020-2021 preschool art program at Lovlee Art Studios in Bloomfield, NJ. Her new book Little Ant & the Epic Battle received the 2020 Royal Dragonfly Book Award—earning honorable mention in the Picture Books 6 & Older category. It was also recognized by the state of Illinois as a valuable COVID-19 resource for families with young children. It sits alongside recommendations from the CDC and UNICEF as a resource for understanding the pandemic. Ilene has participated in over 50 local author events, including a book signing at Barnes & Noble, and has been featured on "Spotlight New Jersey" — News 12 New Jersey and in Jersey's Best magazine. Ilene was also the guest speaker at a 2020 Nutley Rotary networking event and on the 16W with Norman podcast. In the future, Ilene hopes to expand her writing to include adult fiction novels.