Reading/Interest Level: Intermediate, Young Adult
Author: Tony Ross
Publisher: Andersen Press
Douglas is different from the other ants in his colony. He has a name, he is bigger, and he is a different shape. This is because he has a different job to do. He is a soldier and not a part of the beautiful line of food gatherers that he would prefer to join. He is proud to protect the smaller ants. Then, a bomb and bigger soldiers hit the nest. Perhaps it doesn't matter what your job is when annihilation strikes.
The title says it all: this is an anti-war picture book that brings to mind the peace demonstrations of the sixties and seventies. The utility of a soldier to protect his people may be a thing of the past in the age of modern weaponry. The possibility of complete annihilation and the futility of war is well illustrated by Douglas' pointless demise. The missiles and explosion and ambiguity of the ending are too mature for young children, so it's not clear what age would be appropriate for this story, though at least not one who still needs a good night's sleep.