The Worm Family Has Its Picture Taken

Jennifer Frank, illus. by David Ezra Stein. Random/Schwartz, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-12478-9
When her mother schedules a family photo portrait, Emma the worm is beset with anxiety: What could the camera possibly love about worms? They don’t have big toothy grins like her rodent friend’s family, or dazzling colors like the butterflies. Eager to save her family from what she’s sure will be a big letdown, Emma insists they dress up in brightly colored clothes, fake lips and teeth, and wigs—a moment that Caldecott Honoree Stein’s elegant ink lines and washes portray with a superb mixture of dubious acquiescence, humor, and mortification. Authenticity prevails at the behest of the photographer (“AHHHHHHHH” says the relieved family as they discard their uncomfortable costumes), and the worms “wriggled and squiggled and squeezed into a delightful pose only a worm family could make.” Though the plot payoff feels abrupt, the story is otherwise a terrific pairing of new and veteran talent, as well as a gentle but firm nudge for any child who’s felt the pang of familial embarrassment. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Jennifer Cohen, Jennifer Cohen Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/18/2021
Release date: 05/11/2021
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-0-593-12479-6
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