Friday, May 16, 2014

Book Club: The City Under the Back Steps

Choosing this book was probably a mistake - it has been out of print for some time and was hard for everyone to get.  On the other hand, good friends with excellent taste strongly recommended it and we are always hoping to entice them to come to book club, so it was a worthy effort.

The book has two children shrinking to ant size and having an adventure as slaves of two neighboring ant colonies.  We learned a lot about ants, both through the book and through our activities, for we went outside looking for them, then examined their patterns, followed them to their dens, watched them carry their babies, tracked their routes through the yard, and more.  The book has a strong sexist (very 1950s) theme that the ant world quickly corrects, for while Craig treats cousin Jill as lacking value because of her gender, he gets the treatment back a hundred fold in the ant world where he is warned not to even divulge that he is male because he would be seen as so useless.

We had insect themed food, great conversation, and lots of fun with enthusiastic friends.  A great day!

Prepping the food
Ant food (what the ants ate in the book) and insect-themed food

Examining ants

Spots of syrup to attract them, which worked better than celery, as we discovered!

Finding the entrance to one colony -  so focused!

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