SLC Book Boy

the storytime ventures of a children's librarian

The Little Red Ant and the Great Big Crumb

Used for Mexico Storytime

Adapted from the story by Shirley Climo

Once in a cornfield inMexico, there lived a little red ant. She looked just like her nine hundred and ninety-nine cousins, except that she was a bit smaller than all the others. Because her legs were shorter, she always fell behind and was the last in line. That’s when she spied something yellow under a leaf.

“Torta!” exclaimed the little red ant. “A wonderful crumb of cake”

She tried to push the crumb. “Ooooo!” she puffed.

She tried to pull it. “Ugh!” she panted.

She sighed and said, “I need someone strong to carry my crumb for me.”

Then she set off down the row of cornstalks to find someone strong to help her.

(You can see the ant has a little velcro spot on her back, which the crumb attaches to at the end.)

She had not gone very far when she spied someone.

“El Lagarto!” Exclaimed little red ant. “Buenos dias,” she said politely to the lizard, “I’m looking for someone strong to carry my big crumb of cake.”

“Too Cold, “grumbled the lizard. “I’m stiff as a stick until El Sol warms me up.”

“Then El Sol is stronger than you are,” said the ant. “I shall ask the sun to help me.”

She had not gone very far when she spied a cobweb stretched between two cornstalks. Shining through the web was the sun.

“Lucky me!” cried the ant. “There is El Sol – caught in a net!”

She scrambled up the stalk.

“Stop shaking my ladder!”

“La Arana!” exclaimed little red ant. “Perdon, excuse me. I am climbing to the sun to ask him to carry my crumb of cake. El Sol is very strong.”

“Foolish ant,” Scoffed the spider. “No one can climb so high. Anyhow El Gallo is stronger than El Sol, every morning he wakes up the sun.”

“Than I shall ask him to help me,” the ant declared. She backed down the stalk and hurried on her way.

Soon she came to the rooster.

“El Gallo!” exclaimed the little red ant. “Por favor…please don’t eat me!”

“Ant’s taste HORRIBLE!” squawked El Gallo.

“Then will you carry my crumb of cake for me?”

The rooster cocked his head. “Did you say cake? Cake tastes DELICIOUS! I shall eat your crumb myself!”

“But…” the ant began.

“Awk!” the rooster screeched suddenly. “Listen! It’s the chicken-chaser! Awk!”

Flapping his wings, the rooster flew up and over the cornstalks.

The ant was glad to see El Gallo go before he found her great big crumb, and coming down the corn rows was…

“El Coyote!” exclaimed the little red ant. “You must be strong to sing so loudly, will you carry my big crumb of cake for me?”

El coyote stopped in the middle of a howl and stared down at the ant. “Don’t bother me. I’m singing the sun a bedtime song.” Suddenly the coyote pricked up his ears.

“Mira!” he yelped. “Look! It is the terrible Hombre!” He tucked his tail between his legs and dashed off through the cornstalks.

“El Hombre” exclaimed the little red ant. From far away the man looked too small to help even an ant, but the nearer he came the larger he got.

“Senor!” called the ant, “Please carry my cake for me!”

But the man did not hear and kept on walking. So…

The little red ant took a skip and a hop and caught hold of his shoelace. Then she ran up his leg.

“Yi!” yelled the man. “Ticklebugs!” he shook the ant out of his trousers and ran across the cornfield still shouting, “TICKLEBUGS!”

Ant watched him go, then she thought of something quite surprising.

“I frightened El Hombre…who scares El Coyote…who chases El Gallo…who wakes El Sol…who warms El Lagarto…So I, La Hormiga, am the strongest of all!”

The little red ant followed her trail back through the cornstalks. At last she reached her crumb of cake. The cake was warm and sticky and smelled sweeter than ever. She took a big, big breath. Then, ever so slowly, she lifted the crumb. She lifted it up and up until she could put it on her back…then step by step, inch by inch, all by herself the ant carried her wonderful cake home to the anthill.



Torta               – TOHRtah

El Lagarto      – el lahGAHRtoh

Buenos Dias – BWAYnohss DEEahss

El Sol              – el SOHL

La Arana        – lah ahRAHnyah

Perdon           – payrDOHN

El Gallo           – el GAHyoh

Por Favor       – POHR fahVOHR

El Coyote       – el cohYOHtay

Mira                – MEErah

El Hombre      – el OHMbray

Senor              – SAYnyohr

La Hormiga    – lah ohrMEEgah

Leave a comment »

Mexico Storytime

(Done for the One World Many Stories summer reading program)

Opening: Shake My Sillies Out – Raffi

Book: A Party for Papa Louis – Diane Gonzales Bertrand


(I prepared this to be read in spanish and english for each page, but most of my kids were too young so i just did english. It was okay, not great.)

Puppets: Under My Sombrero(see at end)

adapted from Bajo mi sombrero by Anne E. Schraff

(I wore a big sombrero and stuffed the animals into it. The kids loved this ‘The Mitton’-esk story.)

Book: Pedro’s Burro – Alyssa Satin Capucilli


(Fun, and you can have the kids look for the Burro with the sombrero!)

Activity: Mexican Hat Dance from the CD Folk Dance Fun

(Make a big circle around a sombrero, I used the basic dance from this link. Lots of fun!)

Book: Cuckoo – Lois Ehlert


(The illustrations were a little complex for a storytime, I felt…it was difficult for the kids to see the story on some of the pages from a distance.)

Flannelboard: from The Little Red Ant and the Great Big Crumb – Shirley Climo


To see the full version, click here!

(I made a little ant puppet, and used the Mexican words for the animals. It was good!)

Book: Musicians of the Sun – Gerald McDermott


(There were fun characters to voice…you get to be the wind and the sun! And I adore McDermott’s illustrations.)

Craft: Paper Bag Maraccas

Put beans in a paper bag that the kids get to decorate, then twist and tape the bottom!

The Parts:

Under My Sombrero – adapted from Bajo mi sombrero by Anne E. Schraff

It was a hot day, muy caliente, when I went out for a walk. I wore my big sombrero, it cast lots of cool shade.

As I walked along, I met a bird. It saw my big sombrero and the cool shade and asked to share my sombrero. “Puedo, Por Favor?” it asked, “Can I please?” It is a very big sombrero, so I shared it with the bird.

Then I met a mouse as I walked along, and the mouse saw my big sombrero and all the cool shade it cast. The mouse asked if it could share the sombrero, “Puedo, Por Favor?”  It’s a very big sombrero, so I shared with the mouse.

As I walked in the hot sun I met a cat. The cat saw my big sombrero and the cool shade it cast. It asked to share my sombrero, “Puedo, Por Favor?” I still had room so I shared my sombrero with the cat.

A little further down the road I met a frog who was sitting in the hot sun. It saw the shade from my large sombrero, and it asked to share, “Puedo, Por Favor?” There was still some room in my sombrero, so I shared with the frog.

My hat was a little bit heavy as I walked further down the road in the hot sun. But my sombrero kept me cool. I met a pig who saw my sombrero, and asked if it could share “Puedo, Por Favor?” There wasn’t much room, but I didn’t want to be rude, so I said it could share.

My sombrero was full now, but as I walked further down the road I met a dog. The dog saw the cool shade from my sombrero and asked if it could share, “Puedo, Por Favor?” My hat was full, but the dog was muy caliente, very hot, out in the sun…so I said it could share.

It was very full under my sombrero; it wasn’t big enough for so many! I told all the animals, “Get out, there is no room! Everybody go away!” Out came the dog and the pig. out jumped the frog. Out scurried the cat and the mouse, and out flew the bird. Now it’s just me under my big sombrero, and it fits just right!

Leave a comment »