Diary of a Worm
This early reader book by Doreen Cronin, with illustrations by Harry Bliss, is published by Joanna Cotler Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers and is written for kids ages 4 to 8. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness. (There are other "Diary" books by this author, such as Diary of a Fly, but they are not considered a series. Three of them have been grouped together and sold as "The Bug Diaries.")
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Through short journal entries, a young worm describes his daily life. He burrows in the ground to help the earth breathe and tries, unsuccessfully, to teach his friend, Spider, to do the same. He watches out for the dangers around him, such as fishermen digging for bait and kids playing hopscotch. He scares little girls, eats his macaroni art project and engages in a very abbreviated “Hokey Pokey” dance with classmates. Amid dreams of becoming a Secret Service agent, he gets in trouble at school for eating his homework and at home for telling his sister her face looks just like her rear end.
He sustains a special friendship with Spider, even though they often compare themselves to each other based on their anatomic differences. The worm concludes that he dislikes being a worm because he has so much homework and can't chew gum or have a dog. But he does like that he can always track mud through the house and doesn't have to bathe. He finds it hard to be so small and forgettable, but Mom reminds him that the earth never forgets he's there.
Other Belief Systems
Mom tells the worm to remember that the earth gives them everything they need. She also says that even though people forget worms are there, the earth never forgets about them.
If your children have read this book or someone has read it to them, consider these discussion topics:
- Mom tells her son the earth gives them everything they need.
- What does a worm need?
- How do people need the same or different things?
Who gives you everything you need?
What are some of the dangers the worm talks about in his journal?
- What does he do to protect himself from them?
- What are some things in your life that scare you?
- What can you do to protect yourself from those dangers?
- Whom can you ask for help?
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Readability Age Range
4 to 8
Joanna Cotler Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers