We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey, RL 1.5

There are SO MANY super cool things about this new TOON Book We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey I don't know where to start. How about the beginning? We Dig Worms! came about when McCloskey, who teaches illustration at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania, was asked for a "fun worm book" by his wife, a librarian. What McCloskey created is a fantastic non-fiction book that is filled with great facts (I never knew why we see more worms after a rain, although I always wondered) and excellent illustrations and  is written in an engaging writing style that reads like a narrative. To top it off, McCloskey who believes in recycling, "just like worms," painted all the illustrations on recycled grocery bags!

McCloskey begins We Dig Worms! by introducing readers to the many different kinds of worms, including, with a well placed page turn, gummy worms, then narrows his focus to earth worms. The "friendly" Bluebird flies onto the scene with a greeting for the little worm, frustrated when the worm doesn't seem to notice him. At the same time, the text tells readers that worms do not have eyes or a nose, but they do "a lot of important work."

A colorful group of kids add to the story, slipping in facts and commentary, like a well placed, "EEW!" when one page teaches us that worm poop, also known as castings, is very good for the soil. The kids also ask "Mister Worm" questions, like, "How big is the biggest worm in the world?" (10 feet long, in case you were wondering...)

There is a superb two-page spread map of the worm, with all the scientific names for the various parts on the inside and the outside. Near the end of the book, as Bluebird makes a final play to "have lunch with" Mister Worm, he wiggles off, citing "important work to do." The next page shows all the wormy work being done underground and the beautiful results above ground. As always, this superb TOON Book ends with tips on how to read comics with kids!

Françoise Mouly, founder, publisher and Editorial Director of TOON Books and Kevin McCloskey, digging some worms!

Source: Review Copy

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