Yucky Worms by Vivian French, illustrated by Jessica Ahlberg

A young boy was in his grandmother’s garden when she found a worm.  He is disgusted by it, but his grandmother insists that he should be friends with worms.  She then returned the worm to the ground to demonstrate which end of the worm was which.  The book goes on to discuss in the grandmother’s voice different aspects of worms, what they eat, how they survive the winter, what worm castings are, and how they help the plants in the garden.  The illustrations are light-hearted but can quickly become scientific when called for.  This is a great blend of picture book and nonfiction facts presented in a winning way.

French’s use of a grandmother narrator works well here, framing the nonfiction in a story that makes it very approachable.  It also allows the narrator to explain misconceptions that the young boy has about worms, like the widely held belief that worms can be cut in two and still survive.  Not true!  Ahlberg’s illustrations offer asides by the worms themselves, a mole carrying a grocery list, and wonderful views of below the ground. 

A great book to share with children who want to know more about these wiggly creatures in the garden, this book reads like a picture book and offers facts for children who are looking for them.  Readers of the book will quickly learn that worms are far from yucky.  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.