March along with these cheerful ants, but wait—are they stealing the picnic or rescuing it from the rain?
Seeing just two smiling ants on the first page to start the familiar refrain of the folk song may confuse parents and teachers, until they realize that “one by one” here means one beside another one. Five shiny raindrops and the ants’ use of grapes as rain hats give a hint of what is to come. Pairs of two tote off giant orange wedges and cherries, while groups of three work together to carry off a banana and hot dog. The lines about the little one stopping to suck his thumb and scratch his knee are not included, which may confuse readers who already know the traditional verse. It's really raining by the time teams of four are hauling off sandwiches and corn on the cob as well as “shutting the door” to a box of crackers. The groups of five use watermelon slices as umbrellas as they haul a cupcake to an underground picnic. With all this action, little ones will find much to name as they sing along again and again. The counting is almost incidental—which is the best way for instruction to happen with very young children.
A picnic with marching, singing, and counting equals fun for toddlers. (Board book. 1-3)