Doreen Cronin; Harry Bliss (Illustrator)
Doreen Cronin, who gave us the incomparable Click Clack Moo, Cows That Type, here introduces an otherwise disparaged creature for whom you'll gain great respect and affection, a brown earthworm. Start with the endpapers, a scrapbook of captioned photos like "My first tunnel" and "The family vacation-on Compost Island. " Then move on to the diary entries accompanied by personable pen and ink and watercolors of our worm narrator in his signature red baseball cap. Through five months of entries in his unforgettable and hilarious illustrated diary, you'll bond with the lovable, witty, and literate Worm, and get a worm's-eye view of his home and family; best pal, Spider; and school.
One of my favorite entries is dated May 28: "Last night I went to the school dance. You put your head in. You put your head out. You do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself about. That's all we could do." The accompanying four-panel illustration of the worms smiling and wigging under a strobe light is a masterpiece of understatement. Stop and re-sing that page with your kids as they pretend to be the dancing worms. When I read the book to a class of second graders, they got the hokey pokey joke. There's no putting in of arms and legs if you're a worm. One child said, "Wait! They could put their tails in, couldn't they?"
Themes: ANIMALS. DIARIES. POINT OF VIEW. SCIENCE & SCIENTISTS.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
- This quirky worm’s-eye view of the world makes these ubiquitous invertebrates a little more understandable and a lot more fun.
–School Library Journal
IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:
Arnold, Tedd. Hi! Fly Guy. Scholastic, 2005. (And others in the Fly Guy series.)
Arnold, Tedd. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Fly Guy. Scholastic, 2007.
Cannon, Janell. Stellaluna. Harcourt, 1993.
Child, Lauren. That Pesky Rat. Candlewick, 2002.
Cronin, Doreen. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. Simon & Schuster, 2000.
Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Fly. Simon & Schuster, 2007.
Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Spider. Simon & Schuster, 2005.
Cushman, Doug. Inspector Hopper’s Mystery Year. HarperCollins, 2003.
French, Jackie. Diary of a Wombat. Clarion, 2003.
McMullan, Kate. I Stink! HarperCollins, 2002.
Provensen, Alice. A Day in the Life of Murphy. Simon & Schuster, 2003.
Taback, Simms. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Viking, 1997.
Teague, Mark. Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School. Scholastic, 2002.
(And others in the Ike LaRue series)
Tyson, Leigh Ann. An Interview with Harry the Tarantula. National Geographic, 2003.
Westcott, Nadine Bernard. I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Little, Brown, 1980.
Wheeler, Lisa. Old Cricket. Atheneum, 2003.
Wilson, Karma. Sweet Briar Goes to School. Dial, 2003.