Who Also Comes to the Picnic?

There are, of course, the people that you invited. But sometimes there are also the uninvited! Bees, flies, mosquitoes, squirrels, and other animals. Let us not forget the ants! Here are books for early readers that are filled with facts about ants, as well as stories starring an ant. Learn about the tiny uninvited visitors to your next picnic. You might appreciate them more! 

How Strong is an Ant? by Kurt Waldendorf

Part of the Comparison Fun Series 

Learn about the characteristics, habitat, and the role in nature of ants. 


The Adventures of Mr. Ant by Lloyd Shores 

Sweet stories of an ant’s mild adventures. 


Ants are Farmers and Other Strange Facts by Gary Sprott 

Learn surprising facts about ants. 


Ants by Sophie Lockwood

Part of the World of Insects Series

More about species of ants and their characteristics and activities.


Anthony Ant by Linda Dennis 

He is noble and he is an ant. 


Anthony and the Ants by Gemma Raynor 

Things start going wrong with the arrival of ants, but turn out alright in the end. 


Common Critters: the Wildlife in Your Neighborhood by Pat Brisson 

Learn about the usual creatures (including ants), that live and thrive in your backyard or neighborhood.


Explore more ant books for children on Overdrive/Libby and hoopla. Now you can also request print copies of children’s ant books for Curbside Pickup. And, for even more facts about ants, visit the Abbot Public Library’s Gale Elementary database!

We’re Going on a (Backyard) Safari!

Spring has finally sprung! In New England, that means that nice weather is (hopefully) here to stay and we can all enjoy the great outdoors. It also means that you can observe wildlife galore enjoying the spring sunshine, too. Luckily, our friends over at the Museum of Science, Boston Children’s Museum, and Zoo New England have created some fabulous resources for your family’s flora and fauna explorations.

A great place to start your backyard safari is by listening to the Museum of Science’s Pulsar: A Podcast episode on “Observing Wildlife in Your Backyard.” Biologist Colleen Hitchcock of Brandeis University offers tips and tricks for observing and identifying wildlife that you may see around your house. It is also particularly helpful for observing nature in more urban or highly populated areas, as this episode was originally broadcast as a resource for the City Nature Challenge at the end of April. Be sure to also check out some of their fantastic Family STEM Activities, especially Outdoor Explorers and Ecosystem Exploration, and the Museum’s guides to bird flight pattern identification and butterfly watching for more great activities and ideas for exploring nature in your backyard!

The Boston Children’s Museum also has some wonderful activities designed to get kids outside and in touch with nature. In their Activities Archive, you can find resources for getting creative and going on a National Geographic Neighborhood Safari or Nature Scavenger Hunt. The Museum’s Beyond the Chalkboard educational resource site also includes many great ideas for exploring nature, including how to figure out what wildlife shares your habitat.

Finally, head over to Zoo New England for a wide-array of ideas to connect with nature. Learn how to turn your backyard into a certified wildlife habitat or build a habitat for your favorite animal (if your favorite creature is a butterfly, use their guide to creating a butterfly garden). For the birdwatchers out there, check out the Zoo’s guide to birding in your own backyard, and how to make a bird feeder for your feathered friends. For even more fun, their Kid’s Corner site has lots of awesome nature-inspired activities, including instructions on how to identify trees through touch!

And, of course, we’ve got you covered for all of your bird-watching, butterfly-garden-building, and backyard-exploring reading needs — all free, with your library card, through our Overdrive/Libby and hoopa e-collections:

Pamela Hickman’s Nature All Around series: Trees, Plants, and Bugs

Counting Birds by Heidi E.Y. Stemple

My Book of Birds by Geraldo Valério

The Boy Who Drew Birds: A Story of John James Audubon by Jaqueline Davies

Monarch Butterfly by Gail Gibbons

Because of an Acorn by Lola M. Schaefer

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson

Can You Hear the Trees Talking? by Peter Wohlleben

Winged Wonders by Meeg Pincus

Common Critters: The Wildlife in Your Neighborhood by Pat Brisson