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Children's LiteratureMention earthworms, parasitic roundworms, and leeches and people's initial reactions are often "yuk!" But hand this beautifully illustrated book, part of the "Animal Kingdom Classification" series, to young readers and minds are bound to change. From the common earthworm (nature's master recycler) to marine tube worms that look more like beautiful, exotic flowers, these are amazing critters that can be found almost everywhere. Well-written text takes the reader past the often slimy exteriors (that slime has some amazing uses!) to the inside anatomy, then reproduction, locomotion, habitats, and feeding behavior. Since there are about a dozen types, or phyla, of worm-like creatures, many chapters feature the diversity of worm heads, worm bodies, and worm behavior. Did you know that the world's longest critter is not a whale or snake, but a ribbon worm, which can grow to be as long as nine elephants standing in a line? Or, that the beard worm, named after the mass of tentacles or "beard" at the head end, are among the slimmest of worms? They are just 1/2 inch wide and look more like a piece of wire. The final chapter, "Worm Mysteries," explains when a worm is not a worm. The book includes an animal classification chart, a glossary, an index, and a list of further resources. 2006, Capstone/Compass Point Books, Ages 9 to 12.