cover image Worm Loves Worm

Worm Loves Worm

J.J. Austrian, illus. by Mike Curato. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-238633-5

How do you explain a revolution to a young audience? This book is a terrific start. Worm and Worm are in love and want to get married. All of their invertebrate friends are good with that, as long as the couple has a traditional wedding with all the trimmings: a cake, attendants, dancing, rings, and an officiant (a suitably officious cricket). The worms are slightly dazed but grateful for their friends’ enthusiasm, and they even realize that, lacking fingers, they can wear the rings as belts. Then their friends make one more demand: there can only be one bride and one groom: that’s “how it’s always been done.” And that’s when the worms show they have a spine. “We can be both,” they insist, mixing and matching veils, tuxes, dresses, and top hats. “We’ll just change how it’s done.” Debut author Austrian proves that it’s possible to be silly and incisive at the same time, while Curato (the Little Elliot books) works in a stripped-down style that subtly reinforces the “all you need is love” message. Ages 4–8. Illustrator’s agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Jan.)