Elspeth Lorraine

Book Reviews

September 1, 2023

"Just a Worm” By Marie Boyd

Did I pick this book out to review because I love worms? Or because I have been waiting to brag about my all time high score of saving worms after a rainstorm? The answer is I needed to brag. Also 34. I’ve saved 34 worms in one rainy walk. I pick them out of the street (dangerous, don’t tell the kids) and the sidewalk and any other place they might become, as my sister calls them, "Worm Jerky". She has chickens that eat the dried up worms, I don’t think she eats them. But… you might ask? 

Now, to review this book instead of making it about me. I loved it! At the beginning Worm is told he is “just a worm” by two kids and thus sets off on his adventure to prove he is much more. He asks other insects who they are and what they do that makes them special. He learns bees make honey, caterpillars grow chrysalis and many other cool insect facts. But what makes Worm worthy or critical to the ecosystem? What if he is just a worm? It’s a lovely ending when we learn all the things worm can do and how important he is! 

Bits and Pieces: There are lots of interesting insect facts and I loved the garden theme. Worm is so freakin cute. When he cries I got super sad! Is there anything sadder than a worm crying?! I didn’t know that was a trigger for me, but now I can avoid crying worms if I’m not in the headspace for it. Also I learned worm poop is called “castings” and now you know too. 

Not Sure About: Hmmm maybe it would have been nice to see Worm with some friends. But he seemed quite confident by the end so maybe he is a more independent type of worm. 

Favorite Part: The fact that this is about a worm and I love worms. AND the illustrations! Marie is a fantastic artist and this is the first time I’ve ever seen a book with paper quilling - a centuries-old technique that involves assembling strips of colored paper into shapes - as the art medium. Truly one of a kind! She has a tutorial in the back matter on paper quilling and she also provides a snail quilling tutorial on her website. Back matter is one of those things I really enjoy as an adult, but I think adults and kids will go bananas over Marie's because of the "try it yourself" component.

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