The Boy Who Loved Ants: Edward O. Wilson is a brilliant little book. It will inspire any thoughtful elementary school child into caring for the small creatures of nature. Using simple, clear language appropriate to the age group, and interesting pictures, it carries several important ecological lessons, teaching without preaching.
Another message is resilience. Professor Wilson lost most of the sight of one eye as a boy. Even before that, he was smaller than others, shy and withdrawn. And yet, he became one of the leading biologists of the planet, honored by governments, and although it’s not stated in this book, befriended by other famous environmentalists like David Suzuki.
It is not necessary for all children to collect black widow spiders and snakes. It is necessary for as many as possible to look on nature as something that makes life possible for all of us, as a thing of beauty that deserves protection from the ravages of humankind in its own right. A particular species, a particular place may or may not be "useful." That is irrelevant. It is fascinating, and beautiful in its own way, and what is useful is the complex totality.
This is the gentle message of this book. Buy it for your child.
(reviewed the day of purchase)