We Dig Worms!
Written and Illustrated by: Kevin McCloskey
Publisher: TOON Books
Format: Hardcover, 6 x 9, 40 pages, Full Color, $12.95
When I received We Dig Worms! by Kevin McCloskey my interest sprinted into over drive. Worms are icky, creepy, and slimy, I remember thinking as a kid (and may or may not still think today). What do I think of worms, really? These questions tumbled about in my head as I opened and read McCloskey's We Dig Worms!, published by TOON Books.
Believe it or not, worms are exceptionally fascinating and complex creatures. So, when his wife asked him to write a kid-friendly, educational and informational book about worms he figured the most environmental-and-friendly way to help preserve all living creatures, especially in this case WORMs, he gathered recycled grocery bags and began his artistic venture regarding all things worms!
From learning about the different types of worms (earthworms, tree worms, sea worms, river worms, and more . . .), the habitats of worms, the anatomy of worms, the eating habits of worms, the significance of worm tunnels, their digestive systems, and even their castings (which greatly benefit the planet)!
McCloskey even provides young readers and their teachers and librarians with super-cool maps of both the inside and the outside of the average worm. He even explains why worms are mostly seen during or after a rain shower.
And guess what else? As if that is not enough, readers will learn about just how many babies a single worm can have and, similarly, just how many worms can live in a small park. From the biggest worm in the world to the edible Gummy Worm, We Dig Worms! offers its readers a squiggly-wiggly-and-sometimes-edible-fabulously-fun, informational and educational early reader text.
English Language Arts Elements of Story
Plots: Everything worms! We Dig Worms! is an informational and educational action, adventure that will make early readers giggle and wiggle with new information about one of the most misunderstood inhabitants on our planet, the not-so-simple worm.
Characters: earthworms, tree worms, sea worms, gummy worms (ha!), river worms, and more
Settings: earth and its plentiful soil (where worms live!)
Themes: informational nonfiction, soil-based animals, various types of animals and their habitats, life cycle
Reading Recommendations Using the Common Core Standard For Early Readers
* The number referenced above corresponds to the number used by the Common Core Standards (www.commoncore.org)
Lesson Idea for Early Readers:
Because this book is informational and extremely fun for beginning readers I would recommend using a simple (K)now, (W)onder, and (L)earn chart. Below is a sample KWL chart catered specifically to We Dig Worms! (complete with prompting discussion questions).
Dr. Katie Monnin is an Associate Professor of Literacy at the University of North Florida. Besides the joy that comes with reading comic books and graphic novels, Dr. Monnin enjoys a Peter Pan-ish life of researching and writing her own books about teaching comics, graphic novels, and cartoons: Teaching Graphic Novels (2010), Teaching Early Reader Comics and Graphic Novels (2011), Using Content-Area Graphic Texts for Learning (2012), Teaching Reading Comprehension with Graphic Texts (2013), and Get Animated! Teaching 21st Century Early Reader and Young Adult Cartoons in Language Arts (2013); Teaching New Literacies in Elementary Language Arts (in press, 2014). When she is not writing (or sitting around wondering how she ended up making an awesome career out of studying comics and graphic novels), Dr. Monnin spends her time with her two wiener dogs, Sam and Max.