Hey, Little Ant, by Hannah Hoose and Phillip M. Hoose, illustrated by Debbie Tilley, is a wonderful short story surrounding the topic of empathy. In the rhyming book, a big human walks up to a tiny ant and tells it he is going to squish it. The ant begins to beg the boy not to squish him because he has a family and contributes to his nest. The boy is unable to empathize with the ant, telling it that he is much more important than a tiny ant, but the ant disagrees. The ant tells the boy the reasons why they are similar and why the ant should be saved. At the end of the story, the readers have the opportunity to decide if the boy should squish the ant or not.

I really enjoyed this short story because it is a great way to bring to a classroom discussion about empathy and respect.


Hoose, P. M., Hoose, H., & Tilley, D. (1998). Hey, little ant. Berkeley, CA: Tricycle Press.