cover image National Worm Day

National Worm Day

James Stevenson. Greenwillow Books, $12.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-688-08771-5

Stevenson presents a trio of funny stories, all of which take place on National Worm Day, when worm Herbie tells snail Amelia and mole Dawn about the celebrations in the worm community. Dawn goes underground to watch, while Amelia invents a terrific snail national anthem. Meanwhile, rhino Rupert is hanging around the waterhole, getting some attention because he's ``really big and ugly.'' In poignant reflection, Rupert figures he'd better get used to being alone. Then beetle Lester asks him for help, offers to be his friend but soon rejects him. In the final story, Herbie and Dawn complain that Rupert's earthshaking walks disturb their underground repose, but the mammoth creature can only brag about his prowess and good looks. An unexpected pitfall and subsequent rescue make all three pals. Stevenson's perceptive take on various sorts of friendship--and attendant foibles--is well matched by his characteristically amusing watercolors. Ages 5-up. (May)