Worms. Need I say more?

Max with his friends the worms.

Max with his friends the worms.

April showers bring May flowers and…… worms. My boys have been digging worms since they were two. They seek them out, especially when it rains or when in the woods. I asked them why they like worms so much and they told me, “They are squiggly.”

Worms have long had a place in children’s literature. There is the most well-known worm, Richard Scarry’s Lowly, who not only has adventures but is stylish with his outfits and one shoe. When I was in the fourth grade, my teacher Ms. Shomburg would read us Thomas Rockwell’s How to Eat Fried Worms and laugh so hard she would put her head down on the desk.

Elise Gravel’s The Worm is both scientific and funny. While learning about the worm, her illustrations make comments like, “I am NOT disgusting.” Gravel’s artwork explains that earthworms are useful as recyclers and delicious for fish.

"My favorite part is when the worms have a party in the dogs stomach!"

“My favorite part is when the worms have a party in the dog’s stomach!”

Her coverage of some of the more icky facts about worms delight Max and Calvin most. “My favorite part is when the worms have a party in the dog’s stomach!” said Max. It’s true. Parasite worms are shown having a meal in a dog’s table and saying, “Pass the salt, please!”

Next time you are out in the woods, pick up a rock and say hi to your friends the worms!

Where to find the book and other info

Gravel has written several other awesome kids books about slugs, head lice, spiders, and my least favorite, rats. (That’s a story for another day.) They are all part of her Disgusting Critters series. Learn more about her and buy The Worm and more on her website.

Another great book about worms is Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer by Carol Brendler; illustrations by Ard Hoyt.

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