Title: Yucky Worms
Author: Vivian French
Illustrator: Jessica Ahlberg
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book, Non-fiction, Nature
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  You can’t be FRIENDS with an earthworm…You can’t even tell WHICH end is which!  Or CAN you?

*Free copy provided by publisher as part of the ‘Nature Storybooks: Every Wonderful Word is True’ collection, for review…

Review:  This is such a fun book it’s one of my favourites from the Nature Storybooks I’ve so far read! ‘Yucky Worms’ is a great picture book, shorter than A4 in height but wider, it’s filled with thick glossy pages with colourful illustrations and easy to read text throughout. ‘Yucky Worms’ is a great title to the book as it’s what many people think of when they think of worms, however this book, a non-fiction, will definitely change your mind and maybe even fascinate both kids and adults to find out more about these amazing little creatures!

Yucky Worms book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

The book is told from the point of view of the young boy who is spending the day with his Gran while she tends to the garden. When she digs up a worm he’s disgusted at first but then his Gran starts to explain just how great these creatures are. Although it sounds a little like a fiction story it’s a non-fiction book and there are a lot of worm facts explained in a really fun way. Something about the ‘story’ aspect of the book just seems to work and makes it easier and more engaging to learn about worms.

Some of the facts you learn about the worms include what they look like, how you can tell the front end from the back and how adults differ from young worms. You also learn about what they eat, how they travel and even how to bring worms to the surface by tricking them and why they come to the surface when it rains. I was really fascinated by some of the facts, especially the brief inner biology of worms and how they have bristles – something I never knew! Every fact is introduced slowly and in a very fun way that it makes them all easy to understand and remember and it makes you really feel and respect worms all the more after reading it.

The illustrations really made me love this book even more. Not only are they clear and fun but there are also lots of little extras going on in each picture and the best part of all the illustrations is the fact they are quite funny with little speech bubbles and comments made by the worms and other insects. There’s something about funny pictures that makes them more fun to read and I can see kids really enjoying looking over this book again and again and spotting all the extra things in the pictures like extra worms, insects, toys and cats. It makes each picture more interesting and fun and I’ve always felt that books with extra things to see in the picture make it great fun to re-read.

At the back of the book there is a page on how to be a wormologist, for any kids who might be really excited to study them further. They are simple things to do such as how to find worms and how to handle and observe them once you’ve found them. The last page of the book contains notes to parents and teachers on how to use the book with kids. I feel it’s worth mentioning that all the Nature Storybooks, this one included, support Key Stage 1-2 of English and Science making this a great book to get both for kids at home and for the classroom.

Yucky Worms book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

As a picture book I would really recommend this for all kids. What I love is how at the end kids are taught to be respectful when seeing and handling worms. I remember when I was at school as a kid myself, there were some young children who treated worms like a play-thing and were quite cruel in the way they handled them. But with this book it can really change your perspective and although I always knew worms are good for your garden, I never knew just how good or how amazing these little creatures are!

-Review first appeared online January 2018 – now republished here.

Do you like worms?  What do you think of this picture books or books in general that teach about nature?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂