Yucky Worms

by Vivian French and Jessica Ahlberg

When a child and his grandma dig up a worm while gardening, the boy’s first... read more

When a child and his grandma dig up a worm while gardening, the boy’s first instinct is to throw it away. “ 'Throw it away?’ Grandma looked horrified. 'Would you throw away one of your friends?’ ” When he replies that it’s hard to befriend a creature when you “can’t even tell which end is which,” Grandma seizes the moment to deliver a lesson on the value of earthworms. In a conversational style, she explains worms’ physiology, diets, function as soil aerators and fertilizers, and the dangers they face from predators. She dispels a myth (bisected worms don’t turn into two worms) and demonstrates how to bring worms to the surface with a simulated rainfall. By the time they move on to the next gardening chore, Grandma has cultivated a newfound respect for worms in her grandson. The pencil and gouache art both illustrates and amplifies the text, with cross-sections offering a worm’s-eye view, while informational tidbits and dialogue bubbles embellish the main storyline. (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2011

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