Two Bad Ants

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Two Bad Ants
Two Bad Ants.jpg
Two Bad Ants
AuthorChris Van Allsburg
IllustratorChris Van Allsburg
CountryUnited States
PublisherHoughton Mifflin
Publication date
Media typePrint (Hardcover)
Pages32 pp
Preceded byThe Z Was Zapped 
Followed byJust a Dream 

Two Bad Ants is a 1988 children's book written and illustrated by American author Chris Van Allsburg.

Plot summary[edit]

The title characters, while journeying through a human home, decide to exploit a sugar bowl on their own rather than delivering the crystals to the colony's queen. They experience misadventures: they land in a cup of coffee, fall into a sink and are threatened by its garbage disposal unit, are ejected from a toaster, and are nearly electrocuted when they enter an electric outlet. Chastened, they rejoin a line of ants carrying sugar back to the colony.


In Philip Nel's analysis, a conflict between the book's plot and its illustrations leads to artistic tension. While the ants' return to the colony suggests "a victory for the bosses" and the narrative could be considered a "capitalist parable", the comparatively huge appliances in the kitchen, which terrify the ants, imply conspicuous consumption. Nel likens the book's resulting ambiguity to the works of Magritte.[1]



External links[edit]