Saturday, 29 March 2014

Review: The Worm by Elise Gravel

Elise Gravel's The Worm was published March 11, 2014, and is the second book in a "disgusting creatures" series. Aimed at readers ages 6-9, this hardcover non-fiction book is filled not only with fun facts about worms, but the adorable illustrations give it a witty and humourous feel that kids will thoroughly enjoy.

Summary: The second in a series of humourous books about disgusting creatures, The Worm is a look at the earthworm. It covers such topics as the worm’s habitats (sometimes they live inside other animals), its anatomy (its muscle tube is slimy and gross), and its illustrious history (worms have been on earth for 120 million years). Although silly and off-the-wall, The Worm contains real information that will tie in with curriculum.

The Worm very much reminds me of the style, humour — and sass! — of Mo Willems' The Pigeon books. As the narrator tells kids about the different kinds of worms and where they live, the worms add their own comments, or exaggerate the narrator's point. For example, the narrator is at one point describing earthworms and says, "It's that muscle tube that's slimy and disgusting." And the worm looks offended as he replies: "Hey! I AM NOT DISGUSTING!" Of course you are, worm, but you're also cool!

Elise Gravel's accessible language, charming illustrations, and witty worms will get kids interested in animals they wouldn't necessarily want to read about. But there's something wonderful about the ridiculousness of a cute little worm whistling as he drives a dump truck or telling readers to feel his muscles (because earthworms move by squeezing their muscles!). You get to laugh with and at worms, but also take something away from the story, and therein lies the value of this series. 

The Worm will make a great addition to classrooms, libraries, and personal bookshelves, and will interest fans of Mo Willems, who enjoy an engaging book that they can enjoy again and again. 

4 Stars

Thank you to LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program for my copy of The Worm.

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