children's books

NJ-based Children’s Author Pens Fairy Tale About Coronavirus

A Modern-Day Fairy Tale About Coronavirus

Ilene Dudek, author and illustrator of the Little Ant children’s series, presents her sixth book Little Ant & the Epic Battle. This colorful picture book features the lovable little ant and his battle against an army of angry germs. Inspired by the 2020 pandemic, this modern-day fairy tale explores the virus in a way that children can understand: villains attack, heroes emerge, battles are won. In the end, the little ant tries to accomplish what others could not—to defeat the virus and save the world.

Ilene DudekWritten at the height of New Jersey’s coronavirus outbreak, Little Ant & the Epic Battle features many subtle details that tap into our current-day events. Whether it’s a sneeze heard around the world, armies standing six feet apart, or bumblebee fighter jets symbolizing the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds’ flyover; Dudek weaves everyday moments into this fantastical story. By adding a creative spin to real-life events, she offers a lighthearted view of the battle we’re all facing today.

Since its inception in 2017, the Little Ant series has grown in popularity among the parenting community. Little Ant books address common childhood problems, like tying shoes and bullying, and teach lessons in humorous, yet powerful ways. Little Ant & the Epic Battle follows suit. Ilene shares her inspiration, “We were in the middle of the pandemic and New Jersey was getting hit hard. The state was shut down, schools were closed, and it was becoming a very dark time in history. I needed to add a little bit of light, and hope, in the only way I knew how.”

Ilene Dudek is a Nutley author with a background in advertising. After several years as a copywriter, she was offered the opportunity to change her path and follow her dreams. She now writes and illustrates a Little Ant children’s series, inspired by her own life experiences. Ilene has participated in over 30 local author events, including a book signing at Barnes & Noble, and has been featured on “Spotlight New Jersey”—News 12 New Jersey. She plans to continue writing her Little Ant series and sharing her books with the local community.

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