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Children's LiteratureReaders, through simple yet detailed text and fascinating close-up color photographs highlighting a variety of facts about worms, will appreciate the life and purpose of worms. Although there are over 3000 earthworm species, all are made up of segments containing two layers of muscles. These muscles allow the squeezing and stretching of a worm so that it can push through soil and eat rotting animals, leaves, and plant material. This, in turn, breaks up the soil which allows air and water to get in and keep the ground healthy. Worms reproduce easily and even regenerate lost segments, keeping the population of the worm large. Should a worm be lucky enough to survive floods, birds, and eager fishermen, it could live for up to ten years! Simple captions explain the photographs on each page and a glossary defines any difficult vocabulary. There is a wonderful activity suggestion at the back of the book, encouraging the young reader to capture, observe, and then release a bowl-full of worms. An index and a page dedicated to other resources follow. This is a terrific addition to any young person's classroom, especially one studying nature and its many inhabitants. It is part of the "Nature's Friends" series. 2004, Compass Point Books, Ages 4 to 8.
—Andrea Sears Andrews