Doreen Cronin (Click, Clack Moo: Cows That Type
) and cartoonist Harry Bliss (illustrator of A Fine, Fine School
) shed a whole new light on a creature that spends most of its time underground: the earthworm. Written in diary form, this truly hilarious picture book tracks the ins and outs of a worm's life from the perspective of the worm family's young son. Take June 15's entry: "My older sister thinks she's so pretty. I told her that no matter how much time she spends looking in the mirror, her face will always look just like her rear end. Spider thought that was really funny. Mom did not." Except for the fact that he can't chew gum or have a dog, the boy likes being a worm. He never has to go to the dentist ("No cavities--no teeth, either"), he never gets in trouble for tracking mud through the house, and he never has to take a bath. As long as he can remember Mom's rule "Never bother Daddy when he's eating the newspaper," all is well. Bliss's endearing cartoonish illustrations of anthropomorphized worms are clever visual punchlines for Cronin's delightfully deadpan humor. For example, "June 5: Today we made macaroni necklaces in art class" sounds normal enough until you see the worms wearing one piece of macaroni around their necks, taking up a good part of each worm's body. Children and adults alike will adore this worm's eye perspective on the world. (Ages 6 and older) --Karin Snelson
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 3-A baseball-capped crawler gives readers an episodic glimpse into the vicissitudes of his life in these hilarious diary entries. Difficulties such as having no arms, having a head that looks a lot like your rear end, and facing the dangers imposed by people digging for bait are balanced by a loving family and good friends. The young protagonist describes playing with his friend Spider, engaging in a variety of activities at school, and interacting with his parents and sister. Packed into these droll slice-of-worm-life vignettes are a few facts about earthworms and their behavior, all rendered with a dry sense of humor. The full-color watercolor-and-ink illustrations sprawl across the pages in lush earth tones. Bliss's cartoons give the worms lots of personality without overly anthropomorphizing them. The use of multiple perspectives will have children eagerly looking at the pictures to identify objects and locales. Primary-grade youngsters will especially appreciate the classroom scenes. This quirky worm's-eye view of the world makes these ubiquitous invertebrates a little more understandable and a lot more fun.Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI
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