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Comment: A well-cared-for item that has seen limited use but remains in great condition. The item is complete, unmarked, and undamaged, but may show some limited signs of wear. Item works perfectly. Pages and dust cover are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine is undamaged.
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There's a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm's Story Paperback – October 6, 1999

4.5 out of 5 stars 149 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Dirt for breakfast, dirt for lunch and dirt for dinner! Dirt, dirt, dirt! And look--now there's even a hair in my dirt! The final insult--I can't stand it any longer! I hate being a worm!" It isn't easy being an earthworm, and when one little guy gets mad at a hair in his dinner, Father worm decides to tell him a story. What follows is an ecological fable that combines environmental lessons with the kind of off-the-wall humor that could only come from one man: Gary Larson. Fans of The Far Side have been waiting for Larson's latest work since January 1995 when the final Far Side strip appeared in newspapers around the world, and they won't be disappointed. Father worm tells the story of Harriet, a beautiful but stupid maiden who frolics through the forest enjoying the beauty of nature, but completely failing to understand it. The young earthworm learns that nature is not a cute and cuddly theme park designed for the entertainment of stupid humans, but a complex, fragile, and sometimes violent system where every creature plays a vital role, even the lowly worm.

Larson is never preachy, the text is hilarious, and his illustrations are filled with wonderful sight gags. It may look like a children's book, but there's enough here to keep the most sophisticated adult chuckling for hours. You might learn something, too. --Simon Leake --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.

From School Library Journal

YA-A truly twisted fairy tale that is perfect for teens who enjoy the macabre. In his offbeat and inimitable style, Larson presents a biology lesson through his narrator, an earthworm. During dinner, when a young worm expresses disgust at finding a hair in his dirt as well as at his lot in life as the "lowest of the low," his father tells him a story about a beautiful human maiden, Harriet, who loves nature but doesn't understand it. As she cavorts through the woods, her ignorance produces some unfortunate results including the demise of a land tortoise. The humor and clever illustrations will appeal to YAs while illuminating some realities about wildlife. A charming firefly is observed flashing a prospective mate by opening his raincoat. Harriet feeds a sweet group of squirrels, while behind a tree a lone red squirrel is forced to hand over his acorn to a gang of gray squirrels, one of which is wearing a T-shirt bearing the inscription, "I kicked Thumper's Ass." The story concludes after Harriet saves a mouse; as the vector of a deadly disease, it infects Harriet, who dies and decomposes above the worm family's home, hence the hair in the dirt. Father worm explains that those who romanticize parts of nature while disparaging others fail to understand the inherent interconnections. The little creature regains his self-esteem in the knowledge that lowly worms aerate the earth's soil, preparing it for plant life, thus insuring the existence of the animals that depend on it.
Debra Shumate, Bull Run Regional Library, Manassas,
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the School & Library Binding edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; First Edition edition (October 6, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060932740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060932749
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
My grandfather once told me that when he was a boy, schools took field trips to the local slaughterhouse. There, the children saw how the food they ate was turned, violently, from a frolicking lamb or cow into tender vittles. Today we've become so separated from our means of survival that most of us can't even fathom the life-and-death struggles that are going on around us every day.
With characteristic candor and capability, Gary Larson takes us on his own version of the slaughterhouse fieldtrip, reminding us of the cutthroat, utilitarian, and utterly unromantic reality of survival in this world. All the while, he helps that bitter pill slide down by coating it with a healthy dose of belly laughs-of the kind that used to make us spit up our coffee when we read The Far Side in the morning paper.
But humans are not the focus of this long-awaited Larson gem (though the main characters are hilariously anthropomorphized-right down to the father "smoking" a pipe filled with dirt). The food being consumed here is not meat but soil, and the young protagonist, an earthworm with adolescent angst, must come to terms with his own role in nature.
With a Zen-like pragmatism and a confidence that comes from his biological background, Larson challenges us to put our species pride aside, and to enjoy this natural world for what it is, not for what we want it to be.
My wife is an elementary school teacher, and I discovered this book on one of the science shelves in her classroom, near the rotting pumpkin and the ant farm. It's a great teaching tool for children, but I would recommend it for students of all ages.
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By A Customer on September 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
We bought this book at the Tourist Information Center at Pt. Reyes in Northern California. It was among books about the ocean, lighthouses, scenic spots in that area, and science. My husband, being a devout Gary Larson fan, had to have it. I'm not a fan but I am a grandma to 5 kids from 10 to 1, so it seemed like a cute book they would like to have read to them, or read themselves. It is such a delightful story as well as being educational. The illustrations are great! We immediately began counting all the people we know who would also enjoy it, adults and kids alike. It will be something we buy in bulk this Christmas. Try it, you'll like it!
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Format: Paperback
Off-the-wall cartoonist/satirist/humorist Gary Larson's "There's a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm's Story" is as effective a life science text as any that might be in a middle school or high school classroom today. Not only does Larson provide some biological facts but he does it in such an entertaining manner that the reader, especially the young one, may not realize that he/she is learning something. Also, the illustrations require some close scrutiny for many of the jokes lie in the remote corners of the pages.

For those of us that claim to be concerned for the environment, this book turns some preconceptions topsy-turvy.

As an educator, I just can imagine what Larson could do to ignite the language arts, math, and the social studies.

We need more tales of "Harriet" in public and private schools!

He could work wonders for the classroom!
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By A Customer on September 15, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Gary Larson has wrote a masterpiece!! This is his best work yet. Not only is it delightfully entertaining, it's educational. The book "There's a Hair In My Dirt!," has all the beautiful illustrations we are used to of his. I recommend this book to everyone who loves nature, or is a fan of Gary Larson's brilliant work. This is the best book Iv'e ever read, you'll never be able to stop laughing!!
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Format: Paperback
This parody of a children's story features a worm family, a young maiden and Gary Larson's twisted sense of humor and love of science. The illustrations are great, filled with little "Far Side" scenes as well as a larger storyline. If you are a fan of "Far Side" you know that Larson is a master of one panel, one-liner jokes. He can also use his twisted sense of humor and love of science in a larger, ongoing plot as well.

Be prepared - this is a quick read. It took me about 15 minutes. Also, it looks like a little kid's book (K-3), but it is not. There are language and thematic issues that you should be aware of before handing it to your first-grader. On the other hand, your middle schooler will love it!
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Format: Hardcover
I have read this book to my students and they are still laughing and scientifically informed. I hope Mr. Larson continues to write such wonderful books. Thank you, Gary!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My son, Mr. Reality, loves this book. It is very funny -- created by Gary Larson, it looks at the circle of life. It uses good-old Far Side comedy (and irony) to explain the facts of life-and-death to any audience.
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Format: Hardcover
This extremely insightful and riotously funny book is written on multiple levels, and it works for children aged five through 105. Larson hits the mark when we points out that "loving nature is not the same as understanding nature." Though this story is dressed up in a children's picture book format, it contains poignant lessons for children, professional scientists and teachers, and the general population. Be sure to read the introduction by E.O. Wilson. A grand book through and through.
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