"But the wind blew hard, and the tree came fast, and the little ant was about to...CRASH!"
This colorful picture book continues the fun and adventure by introducing a new character with a big problem—a caterpillar with untied shoelaces! When the ant offers to help a caterpillar tie his many shoes, he gets into a world of trouble. Bees attack, friends get stuck, and spiders make chunky stew. Through many twists and turns (and a little bit of science!) the ant finally discovers the key to his success. This is the third book in the Little Ant series.
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As with all of my Little Ant books, this one was inspired by my own life experiences. When my oldest son was 5, he would be late for school every day because he couldn’t tie his shoes. I would teach him how to do it and he would still struggle and cry in frustration because he could never master the skill. He finally took matters into his own hands and just tied some knots into the laces. He would then slip them on and off every day in a much easier fashion.
This planted the seed.
Then last year, while we were on vacation, my 4-year-old son had trouble sealing the Velcro on his sneakers. They kept flopping open every few steps. This was unacceptable. He kept crying and acting as if he couldn’t walk with his shoes undone. I ran to the local dollar store (just what you want to do on vacation!) and picked up safety pins and extra shoelaces.
I proceeded to try and safety-pin the straps to the sneakers. If you’re ever in this situation, do not, I repeat, DO NOT try this! It was a total disaster! So instead of the shoes popping open every few steps, they popped open and poked my child’s foot! I finally decided to just loop the new laces through the straps and tie them up his leg. I essentially tied the shoes to his body. It was not pretty, but it worked!
This book pulls apart that one small problem and tries to solve it in many silly ways. It was really fun to write, and in the end, it actually surprised me. I wasn’t sure exactly how to end the book, and then one day, as I was driving to my mom’s house along Route 17, it just hit me. Like a bolt of lightning, it shocked me and made me laugh out loud. It was the perfect ending! So, this book took me on an adventure, as well. It is silly and suspenseful, and kept me guessing the entire way!
Little Ant Saves the Day was inspired by my children but explored through the eyes of one little ant. It was such a joy to write and even more fun to complete, and I hope you love it as much as I do!
My son loves to read to his favorite stuffed animals.
Little Ant Saves the Day - Book Trailer
Little Ant Saves the Day
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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 luncheon and on the 16W with Norman podcast. In the future, Ilene hopes to continue writing her Little Ant series and sharing her books with the local community.