About the Holiday
When you love to read, you want to share the excitement that books hold. Get Caught Reading Month encourages people to pass along their love of all things written by asking folks to take pictures of themselves reading their favorite book and uploading those images to social media. Movie and TV celebrities, sports figures, authors, illustrators, teachers, mom, dads, grandmas and grandpas, and kids of all ages take part in this favorite annual event. Why don’t you?!
I received a copy of What About Worms!? from Hyperion Books for Children for review consideration. All opinions on the book are my own.
What About Worms!? (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!)
By Ryan T. Higgins and Mo Willems
Piggie comes to Gerald with a new book that he’s having trouble reading. In fact, he “cannot make heads or tails of it.” “Why not?” Gerald asks. “Because,” Piggie says with great mirth, “it is about WORMS!” And so, Piggie and Gerald and readers are off…! The story revolves around a little tiger, who believes he is big and brave and “NOT afraid of anything…except worms.”
Tiger’s wary of how they feel and how they squirm; plus, it’s hard to know which end is their head and which is their tail. Tiger forgets his fears when he spies a lovely pot of flowers. He picks it up and takes a deep breath of the sweet aroma. But then he remembers…. There’s dirt and where there’s dirt, there’s bound to be WORMS. The pot flies from his hands and smashes into pieces on the ground. In the spilled dirt, Tiger sees…no worms.
To take his mind off breaking the pot, Tiger picks a shiny, red apple from a tree and takes a big bite. Oh, how delicious apples are! But… “GULP!” Tiger tosses his apple away and it lands “SPLAT!” at his feet. In the bits of apple, he sees…no worms. He looks sadly at his lost pot and apple. Those worms, he shouts, they “ruin everything.”
And now there’s another wriggly, striped worm right near him. But when Tiger takes another look, he realizes that it’s only the cover of a book. Reading is just what he needs right now. But what if… “it is a book about WOOOOOOOORMS!!!” Tiger throws the book and runs away as fast as he can. All of this commotion attracts none other than a group of worms who, seeing the retreating figure, discuss how they are afraid of tigers.
Just then they find the gifts that Tiger has left behind. They frolic in the dirt, munch the apple, and are excited about the book—especially since they can see from the cover that it’s a book about worms. But when they open it up, they discover it’s not about worms at all—but about tigers. With trepidation they begin reading, and by the end of the book these worms have learned so much about tigers that they’ve had a change of heart. So much so that when they catch a glimpse of Tiger, they each want to give him a big “worm hug!”
Piggie closes the book and wonders if Gerald liked it. He did! Especially its surprising ending. And Piggie? He says, “I love a book that worms its way into your heart.”
Ryan T. Higgins is a master of laugh-out-loud storylines that lead up to a gem of a plot twist, and in What About Worms!? slapstick meets worry with smashing results. Kids will crack up at Tiger’s over-the-top reactions as they devour this well-paced story that’s also loaded with vocabulary they’ll be excited to recognize or learn. Repeated words and phrases flow naturally in this dialogue-driven story, increasing the enjoyment of the reading and learning process. Not only does Higgins address fears, friendship, regret, and a love of books, he also reminds kids of the truth of that important adage: You can’t tell a book by its cover.
As always, Higgins’ bold illustrations carry the story with actions and emotions that are humorous, identifiable, and relatable. Children familiar with Higgins’ Mother Bruce books will recognize beloved facial expressions on Tiger, and a cameo appearance from Mo Willems’ Pigeon will delight them. Speech bubbles contain one sentence only, making them easy to follow for beginning readers.
Sure to be a favorite and reached for often, What About Worms!? is a must whether you’re adding to your collection of Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! books or just starting out with the series.
Ages 4 – 8
Hyperion Books for Children, 2020 | ISBN 978-1368045735
To learn more about Ryan T. Higgins, his books, and his art, visit his website. Ryan’s site is under construction, but he and all your favorite characters will be back!
Discover more Elephant & Piggie Books as well as all of Mo Willems’ books on Pigeon Presents.
Get Caught Reading Month Activity
Cup of Dirt (and Worms!)
This classic favorite is frightfully good––especially while reading!
- 1 4-ounce package of instant chocolate pudding
- 2 cups milk
- 1 8-ounce container of whipped topping
- 16-oz package of chocolate sandwich cookies
- Gummy worms
- Beat milk and pudding mix together in a bowl until well blended and slightly thickened; let stand to thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Stir whipped topping and 1/2 of the crushed cookies into pudding.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon crushed cookies into each serving cup.
- Fill each cup 3/4-full with pudding mixture and top with remaining crushed cookies.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Top with gummy worms before serving
You can find What About Worms!? at these booksellers
To support your local independent bookstore, order from
Picture Book Review