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Donaldson, Julia. Superworm; illus. by Axel Scheffler. Levine/Scholastic, 2014. 32p. ISBN 978-0-545-59176-8 $16.99 Reviewed from galleys R 5-8 yrs.

All the critters around love Superworm—who wouldn’t, when he can both spring into action to save Beetle from the well and become a nifty skipping rope for the bored bees? All of the “hip hip hoorays” for Superworm carry down to Wizard Lizard, though, who sends his servant crow off to kidnap Superworm, whom the lizard magically compels to dig for treasure. The other animals spring into action and hatch a plan to wrap the lizard up in a web and toss him in a dump, freeing Superworm. Though the text is a bit lengthy, the strong iambic tetrameter makes for a bouncy, rhythmic readaloud, and with a bit of preparation, kids can join in the repeated chant for Superworm (“Hip, hip, hooray for SUPERWORM!”). The breezy illustrations, with their detailed pen work, have a pleasing balance of full-bleed pages and vignettes against white pages. The googly-eyed bugs are friendly and inviting, and the sinister, dark hues of Wizard Lizard and his crow contrast nicely with the full rainbow used for Superworm and his friends. A goofy addition to friendshiptale picture books, this wriggly tribute to dirt-crawling friends might also work as a unique addition classroom study of poetry.



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p. 354
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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