It's bedtime in the little ant household. But as the lights go off, the noises come out! Radiators rattle, tornadoes twirl, and neighbors get noisy. The little ant must figure out a way to face his fears and fall asleep. He uses his imagination to transform these "scary" noises into brighter, happier images. Flapping books become fluttering butterflies, and rooftop rain becomes popping corn. In the end, these nighttime noises become the music of his dreams.​


(That's me.)



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This NEW colorful picture book features the lovable little ant and his quest to solve the mystery of a missing ice cream cone. When his favorite treat suddenly disappears, the ant must follow some unusual leads to uncover the truth. Through many twists and turns, and an unflappable main character, we soon discover that no mystery is too big for the little ant! This is the fourth book in the Little Ant series. 

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"But the wind blew hard, and the tree came fast, and the little ant was about to...CRASH!"

- An excerpt from Little Ant Saves the Day

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When the little ant tries to help a friend tie his many shoelaces, he gets into a world of trouble—but he soon discovers that this trouble holds the key to his success! This is the third book in the Little Ant series.


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Why This Book is So Special

Welcome to my fourth Little Ant book! It is a story inspired by the child in me. Sure, it’s centered around my sons’ favorite treat (ice cream!), but when choosing the actual story, I tried to write a book that I would've enjoyed as a kid. So, this story is a little bit different from the rest. It is not based on any specific event that happened in our lives, but on my old-time favorites. I tapped into the past, wrote from the heart, and created a really fun mystery for all to enjoy!

Before I could put pen to paper, I had to think back to my childhood. What did I like in a good book? What types of stories do I even remember reading? I went to Catholic school, which means we read A LOT. A few good books came to mind. One was And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. I remember being blown away by that book! The mystery and the suspense were amazing. And then in high school, we read Bleak House by Charles Dickens. That was also an incredible book. We read it in segments, much like the ‘episodes’ that were originally published in the 1800’s. We were not allowed to read past the assigned chapter, so it really built the suspense and kept us wanting more. That, too, was a fantastic mystery.

As you can see, many books influenced me as a child, but I would be remiss not to mention TV shows, as well. My all-time favorite was Scooby Doo. I must’ve watched every episode, ten times over! I absolutely loved trying to solve those mysteries. And of course, hanging out with ghosts and ghouls were a real treat, too!     

This all led me to write my very first mystery. Coming up with the story was fun, but drawing the pictures was even funner! (I know that’s not a word, but it should be!) When it came to illustrating this book, I really abandoned my inhibitions. The pictures just flowed. The colors seemed brighter, the pigs seemed piggier. As I was designing it, I would say, “I think I need a grasshopper here.” Or “How about a flock of geese over there?” And then I would just draw it. I had a renewed confidence in myself. The best example of this ‘new illustrator in me’ would be the cover of the book. It was like the cherry on the...well, ice cream sundae! I really loved all the colors and creating that awesome, swirling effect. Of course, I tried to draw that swirl by hand, but I knew instantly that it wasn’t going to work. I will thank Photoshop for the assistance on that one! In a final, bold, and daring move, I colored the cover black. It not only captured the spirit of the mystery, but made the colors really pop off the page. It was a great move because I am now IN LOVE with that book cover!

In the end, Little Ant & the Ice Cream Mystery turned out to be a fun, silly, and exciting story—one that I would’ve loved to have read as a child. It is the perfect, sweet mystery for the little ant to solve!

The little ant is about to go on a big adventure! After being flushed down the toilet, he journeys through sea, space, and bustling city streets to find his way home. He escapes hungry fish, flying baseballs, and even engages in a highspeed scooter chase. Through it all, he manages to have some fun. He takes a ride on a whale's waterspout and treats himself to a delicious cupcake from the local bakery. The little ant is on the adventure of a lifetime; but can he make it home before dark? Check it out and see!

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​​​​​My Favorite Book to Write

As with all of my Little Ant books, this one was inspired by my own life experiences. When my oldest son was 5, he would be late for school every day because he couldn’t tie his shoes. I would teach him how to do it and he would still struggle and cry in frustration because he could never master the skill. He finally took matters into his own hands and just tied some knots into the laces. He would then slip them on and off every day in a much easier fashion.

This planted the seed.

Then last year, while we were on vacation, my 4-year-old son had trouble sealing the Velcro on his sneakers. They kept flopping open every few steps. This was unacceptable. He kept crying and acting as if he couldn’t walk with his shoes undone. I ran to the local dollar store (just what you want to do on vacation!) and picked up safety pins and extra shoelaces.

I proceeded to try and safety-pin the straps to the sneakers. If you’re ever in this situation, do not, I repeat, DO NOT try this! It was a total disaster! So instead of the shoes popping open every few steps, they popped open and poked my child’s foot! I finally decided to just loop the new laces through the straps and tie them up his leg. I essentially tied the shoes to his body. It was not pretty, but it worked!

This book pulls apart that one small problem and tries to solve it in many silly ways. It was really fun to write, and in the end, it actually surprised me. I wasn’t sure exactly how to end the book, and then one day, as I was driving to my mom’s house along Route 17, it just hit me. Like a bolt of lightning, it shocked me and made me laugh out loud. It was the perfect ending! So, this book took me on an adventure, as well. It is silly and suspenseful, and kept me guessing the entire way!

Little Ant Saves the Day was inspired by my children but explored through the eyes of one little ant. It was such a joy to write and even more fun to complete, and I hope you love it as much as I do!


"Pools of chocolate can't be beat. Move it, bacon, that's my treat!"

- An excerpt from Little Ant & the Ice Cream Mystery


My Inspiration

The second book in my Little Ant children's series was also inspired by my sons. I wrote it as a way to ease their fear of nighttime noises. In my house, when the lights go off, the noises come out! The heat comes on. The cat meows. Someone flushes the toilet. And both boys are up and calling my name.  

When I think back to when I was a kid, I was also afraid of the dark. I would hear a noise or see a shadow and that was all it took to get my imagination going. It was ironic—the creativity that brought joy and adventure to my days, now cursed my nights! I had to find a way to quiet my fears.

It wasn't long before I learned to change the picture (or story!) of the noise. I now hear the cat walking up creaky stairs instead of a ghost; and squirrels on the roof instead of rain. Since I couldn't change the noise itself, I had to change my interpretation of it. And this is what I hoped to convey through my story.

Now, when my children hear a noise at night, I say it's the neighbor outside or the cat downstairs. I give them something more fun and exciting to think about!


"He was hooked like a worm and thrown to the fishes, and one of them thought he was truly delicious!"

- An excerpt from Little Ant on the Go

Little Ant Children's Books by Ilene Dudek

​​How Little Ant Came to Be
It all started one day, when my son Alex was potty training. As he sat patiently on his Elmo potty, he asked me to tell him a story. If anyone has been down this road before, you know that this moment in time could take a while. So there I sat, spinning a tale for him to enjoy.

This is what inspired the first few pages of my book. This is where it all began. As I let my imagination run wild, he said to me, "And then what? And then what?" And so the little ant was born—making his way through a crazy world, running into many silly characters, and going from one adventure to the next.

I had always wanted to write a children's book, so I later took pen (and marker!) to paper, and wrote and hand drew my story. At times, I attempted to edit some details, but Alex was quick to remind me that I'd forgotten something. He was my audience, and my boss. He kept me on track with the story a 3-year-old wants to hear.

I believe this book started with my son, but was always inside me—as both boys keep me very much on the go. They are fun-loving, active kids who are always looking for the next big adventure. They find the fun in everything they do, and remind me every day to do the same!


"Swirling, whirling all around, what on earth could be that sound?"

- An excerpt from Little Ant Hears a Noise