Common core
Common core

It's an Orange Aardvark!

By Michael Hall, Illustrated by Michael Hall

Acclaimed New York Times-bestselling picture book creator Michael Hall delivers a funny and suspenseful story about colors, ants, aardvarks, and rainbows that will appeal to Lois Ehlert fans and fans of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. Another winner from the author of My Heart Is Like a Zoo, Perfect Square, and Cat Tale!

Five carpenter ants at home in their tree stump hear a noise. What is it? One ant thinks it is a hungry aardvark lurking outside the stump, just waiting to eat them. One ant makes a hole in the stump to see. Orange light floods the stump—it's not an aardvark, proclaims the ant chorus. It's orange! So what is lurking outside the stump? This very funny picture book features die-cut holes on almost every page, suspenseful page turns, a wonderful surprise ending, and an introduction to a rainbow of colors. It's an Orange Aardvark! is a tour de force for Michael Hall, the acclaimed and bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo, Perfect Square, and Cat Tale.

  • Grade level: K
  • Interest Level: P-3
  • Guided Reading Level: J


Recognize common types of text. Identify who is talking at various points in the story. Read common high-frequency words by sight (color words). Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening (interjections).

How does the author?s word choice and language contribute to the tone of the story? Give examples. RL.1.4

How do you identify who is talking at different points in the story? RL.1.6

What makes a story fiction or nonfiction? What genre is It?s an Orange Aardvark!? Write your answer and draw a picture. RL.1.5, W.1.8


Teaching Guide to the Books of Michael Hall

This teaching guide, aimed at grades Pre-K through 3, contains Common Core-aligned discussion questions and classroom activities for Michael Hall's It's an Orange Aardvark. It also includes three printable activities—a homophone matching game, a counting activity, and a shape activity—for Cat Tale, Perfect Square, and My Heart Is Like a Zoo. [PDF]

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  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Imprint: Greenwillow Books
  • Format: Hardcover
  • On Sale: 11/30/-0001
  • ISBN: 9780062252067
  • ISBN 10: 0062252062
  • ISBN 13: 9780062252067
  • Pages: 40
  • Trim Size: 9.00 x 11.50 in
  • Subcategory:
  • Juvenile Fiction / Social Issues / Emotions & Feelings
  • Juvenile Fiction / Animals / General

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)“Get ready for some hilarity and hijinks as five ants discover what’s really outside their stump home. . . . Hall uses the die-cuts to great effect, playfully piquing the curiosity of readers while revealing both the real and the ridiculous.”

Publishers Weekly“Hall’s fourth bold, graphic picture book . . . serves as an entertaining introduction to the colors of the rainbow, as the ants put each color in context (“Red like a fire truck”) that readers will readily grasp.”

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books“ Hall’s latest outing is entertaining both for its unusual cast of characters and its amusing yarn-spinning. . . . This could entertain a group, who will giggle at . . . this clever tale.”

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