A worm's wriggly life is never dull, and in this refreshingly original picture book from Doreen Cronin -- author of the Caldecott Honorwinning Click, Clack, Moo -- and illustrator Harry Bliss, one little critter talks about its highs and lows in a series of totally hilarious diary entries.
From March to August, the baseball capwearing worm records his thoughts and feelings about friends, family, digging, and eating. Armed with his mom's sage advice ("Never bother Daddy when he's eating the newspaper" is one of the most important) and a fairly positive attitude about life, the "underground dweller" gets a kick out of scaring girls on the playground, hanging out with friends (literally, hanging out with Spider), cutting the rug at school dances (getting farther than "put your head in" during the hokey-pokey is impossible), and other school-worm activities. Of course, a worm's life isn't all fun and games, especially since worms can't chew gum or have a dog, but they never have to go to the dentist or take baths! And while the little worm says life is tough because sometimes people forget worms exist, dear old Mom reminds him that "the earth never forgets we're here."
Pairing Cronin's wry storytelling with Bliss's comical, cartoonish illustrations, this charmer touches a range of emotions, ultimately tickling readers' funny bones as they see worms in a whole new light. Scenes of the poor worm sitting pensively under a mushroom and imagining himself as a Secret Service agent are truly priceless, while Cronin's economical, thoughtful use of language is the perfect tone for a little worm experiencing life. Although he's small, this prolific fellow has a heart and a story that are grand indeed. Matt Warner