From School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-Mac is a shiny red apple with small, sticklike arms and legs. After he is caught napping in the rain, a little green worm emerges from his left temple, and the two hit it off immediately. They have great fun together and enjoy a variety of activities-until the other apples call Mac names and say he has worms. When the name-calling continues, Will disappears, leaving only a message scratched in the dirt. Going back to his old life, Mac realizes there's a hole in him that he cannot fill. He searches everywhere for his friend, realizing that "he'd rather be a Bad Apple with Will than a sad apple without him. "A variety of insects witnesses their reunion, as does a kind yellow apple. In a final nocturnal scene, as a smiling Mac floats in the watering hole, Will reads aloud by the light of two fireflies. The cheery, cartoon illustrations are done in oils on canvas. Despite its attractive artwork and clever puns, it is more than a tad unsettling to see the worm eating through the apple's skin. Unusual friendships between a worm and another creature are better depicted in Doreen Cronin's Diary of a Worm (HarperCollins, 2003). Youngsters may fondly recall Eric Carle's Very Hungry Caterpillar, eating through one red apple, but the idea of a friend eating a hole in another friend's head is disturbing. Wormy apples really do rot.-Mary Jean Smith, formerly at Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TNα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
This story of two unlikely friends sweeps the reader along in its warm, familiar—but peculiar!—plot before delivering that all-important final lesson. Mac is a red apple and Will is a green worm. Before meeting Will, Mac did a lot of good apple things, like sharing his toys and helping the teacher, Granny Smith, pick up after art class. But Will introduces Mac to a whole new level of fun and excitement: flying kites, playing in the dirt, and, of course, reading (Will is quite the bookworm). Mac’s fellow apples, however, mock Mac for hanging out with a worm. Will nobly tunnels off and, of course, Mac searches for him. “There was a hole in Mac that he couldn’t fill.” (Spoiler: it’s the wormhole in his head.) Hemingway’s oil illustrations are rich with autumn colors, and clever bits of action and humor conjure up a world children will want to return to. Meanwhile, the message about peer pressure comes through subtly but strongly. Preschool-Kindergarten. --Connie Fletcher