cover image What About Worms!? (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!)

What About Worms!? (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!)

Ryan T. Higgins and Mo Willems. Hyperion, $9.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-368-04573-5

In this spry addition to Willems’s ongoing series, Elephant and Piggie read a book about deceptively fierce Tiger, who is not afraid of anything—except worms. After Tiger explains his aversion to the critters (they’re slimy, they “like to wiggle,” and “you cannot tell their tops from their bottoms!”), he is distracted by things he loves—flowers planted in soil, a shiny apple hanging from a tree—only to toss them aside when he remembers, with horror, that worms enjoy those very same things. Unearthed, a few worms articulate their dislike of tigers (they’re furry, they like to walk, and “you can tell their tops from their bottoms!”), until they realize that Tiger has left behind the shattered planter he dropped and the apple he spat out, precipitating a reversal of opinion that is, wryly, unreciprocated by the terrified, emotive tiger. Though Higgins (the Mother Bruce series) slips in worthwhile intimations about making snap judgments, his spare, Bill Watterson–tinged art and snappy dialogue create a cleverly meta early reader that solidly stands on its comical feet. Ages 4–8. [em]Author’s agent (for Higgins): Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary. (May) [/em]