This Is a Book to Read with a Worm
Jodi Wheeler-Toppen, author
Jodi Wheeler-Toppen is a science teacher and science writer with a passion for helping young people become confident science readers and writers. Her many books for curious kids include Cat Science Unleashed, Dog Science Unleashed, Edible Science, Recycled Science, and the Our Amazing Senses series.
Read more about Jodi.
Margaret McCartney, illustrator
Margaret McCartney studied illustration at Rhode Island School of Design. Her design work has appeared on everything from garden gloves to comics to her own line of children's wear, Winter Water Factory. This Is a Book to Read With a Worm is her first book.
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- Coming soon!
Readers are encouraged to find a worm and to employ careful observation techniques.Immediately after the title page, a bespectacled worm wearing a blue scarf—it acts as commentator throughout—reminds readers to be gentle when picking up worms and to return them safely to their places of origin after studying them. (Environmentally conscious endnotes both suggest acquiring a worm from a bait shop if one is not available outside and caution against introducing these worms into the natural environment.) Two children, one black and one white, look out toward readers as if hearing the words printed above them: "Stop! To read this book you are going to need a worm." Indeed, without a worm in hand, half of the text becomes moot. Readers—along with the two children—are urged to run a finger along the worm's body; to stare into the worm's "face"; to carefully observe worm sensitivities to alcohol fumes and light beams; to listen for the bristles called setae by holding up a paper-wrapped worm to an ear; to create a one-night, dirt-filled worm hotel in a clear plastic bottle. For a book that seems otherwise eco-conscious, it is a surprise that a glass jar used with care is not recommended over plastic. As the gently humorous text gives directions and nature facts, the whimsical worm's speech bubbles offer vocabulary pronunciations and tips about keeping worms healthy while they are under surveillance. The graphic art is lively and colorful, well matched with the text. For exciting, optimal use, expect brown-edged pages.
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Page count: 32
11 x 8 1/2