FICTION

Superworm

illus. by Axel Scheffler. 32p. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. Feb. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545591768. LC 2013001546.
COPY ISBN
PreS-Gr 3—The team behind The Gruffalo (Dial, 2005) returns with a slightly slimy superhero who will (literally) worm his way into your heart. It's Superworm! He rescues toads and beetles from peril and young bees from boredom. The insects clap and cheer for their very own invertebrate champion, inciting the ire of the Wizard Lizard and his henchman crow, who kidnap Superworm for their own sinister devices. The toads, slugs, earwigs, and other bugs band together to rescue the hero, with a cunning plan to wrap the villain in honey and spiderwebs and relegate him to the rubbish heap (the slugs help by eating the wizard's flower wand). All is right with the world as Superworm returns to act as swing, slide, and hula hoop for his adoring fans. The illustrations are charming and detailed (look for a gruffalo in the garbage dump), with earwigs and beetles managing to look entomologically accurate as well as cute and cuddly. The story line and rhyme are not as engaging as in Room on the Broom (Dial, 2001), but young insect lovers and fans of Doreen Cronin's Diary of a Worm (HarperCollins, 2003) and other buggy tales will be thoroughly entertained.—Martha Link Yesowitch, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, NC
Superworm is beloved by his many friends, including beetles, snails, and other creepy-crawlies. After he's kidnapped by Wizard Lizard, Superworm's friends conspire to rescue their pal. It's some old-fashioned storytelling, with snappy rhyming couplets and a bad guy with a threatening henchman, but Donaldson spruces things up with the particulars of a heroic worm. Scheffler's pictures pop with strong lines and vibrant colors.
Superworm (pictured as an extra-long pinkish earthworm with expressive googly eyes) is beloved by his many friends, including beetles, snails, and other creepy-crawlies. He's popular for fashioning himself into a jump rope to entertain bored bees; rescuing a baby toad who strays into the road; and generally helping out. "Watch him wiggle! See him squirm! / Hip, hip, hooray for SUPERWORM!" Unfortunately, he catches the attention of Wizard Lizard, who kidnaps him and forces him to dig for treasure. Never fear. Although Superworm's friends may be small, they successfully conspire to rescue their pal using their own honey-making and web-building skills plus a little ingenuity. It's some old-fashioned storytelling, with snappy rhyming couplets and a bad guy with a threatening henchman, but Donaldson spruces things up with the particulars of a heroic worm whose band of friends includes an earwig, a slug, and beetles. Scheffler's pictures pop with strong lines and vibrant colors as well as sly small details to catch on subsequent readings. susan dove lempke

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.


RELATED 

Get connected. Join our global community of more than 200,000 librarians and educators.

Get access to 6000+ annual reviews of books, databases, and more

As low as $12/month