ALL UPON A SIDEWALK by Jean Craighead George

ALL UPON A SIDEWALK

KIRKUS REVIEW

We'll never understand why so many competent juvenile authors choose to write about ants, those most unindividualized of creatures, in terms of the adventures of one individual -- who is often referred to by her species name (here Lasius flavus) as if it's her own personal one. Jean George's yellow ant, who lives under the sidewalk and occupies herself running errands when the queen asks in different "chemical messages" for sugar or pollen or whatever, is sent out one day for a "terribly appealing" and wondrous treasure called Euplectus confluens, of which she's been given a taste as a clue. Lasius flavus encounters various unappealing scents and is successively warned of rain by a drop in air pressure ("She know what this meant!"), carried off to a bird's nest, and lost on a strange section of pavement. But at last in the home of some avenue ants she finds (and later brings home) the ant-loving beetle who, in return for food from Lasius flavus' body, provides her with the "exotic drink" she has been sent to fetch. George's introduction to sidewalk ecology takes into account the bottle caps and fire engines along with the natural inhabitants, and the symbiotic encounter with the beetle is a fitting enough climax to the ant's quest. We would prefer more explanation of the "chemical messages" and fewer exclamation marks denoting ecstasy or panic, but there seems to be a niche for this sort of nature writing.
Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1974
ISBN: 0525254625
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1974




JEAN CRAIGHEAD GEORGE, 1919-2012:

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