From School Library Journal
Starred Review. PreSchool-Grade 2—A young boy accompanies his grandmother to her backyard garden where, while planting, she digs up a worm. When the boy tells her to "throw it away," the woman enlightens him about why worms are beneficial. She explains how to tell the head from the tail; how the worms move through the soil, helping to aerate it; how their "poop" or "cast" helps fertilize plants; what they eat; and what likes to eat them. She debunks myths about the creepy crawlies and instills in her grandson a better understanding and respect for the creatures and their importance for growing plants. In the clear and appealing pencil and gouache illustrations, the aboveground pictures show a lush vegetable and flower garden with myriad insects and birds, while belowground looks like corrugated cardboard filled with worms and their tunnels. Even the worms impart information in humorous and informative speech bubbles throughout the tale. Two pages on "How to Be a Wormologist!" close the book. Perfect for a classroom science lesson, this title will also be of interest to children learning about nature.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
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Drawn by the slimy appeal of worms, preschoolers and elementary students alike will be fascinated by this fictional story filled with scientific facts about how these slithery creatures move, eat, poop, and help the environment. While in the garden with his grandmother, a boy describes everything he sees and learns. “Yuck!” he says, when Grandmother digs up a worm, but as they watch it wiggle to its underground home, Grandmother tells the boy all about what these animals eat, their body parts, how their tunnel digging loosens the soil, and how their waste helps plants grow. The cheerful pencil-and-gouache artwork shows scenes both above and below the ground and weaves facts into each image, as well as humorous cartoon speech bubbles: “Nice and rotten. Just how I like it,” exclaims one worm as it munches into a decaying leaf. The back matter includes more about “how to be a wormologist” and an index that can help children review the information. Friendly and interactive, this is a great choice for sharing at home and in the classroom. Preschool-Grade 2. --Hazel Rochman