Wiggly the Worm
As quick as lightning, Wiggly introduces his friends, Snarky Snail, Rattles Snake and Munchy Mosquito and they all live together in a backyard garden. The book is titled Wiggly the Worm, but in the first sentence and the remainder of the book he is always called Wiggly Worm. Is there such a thing as a backyard garden? Surely, it is one thing or the other.
Wiggly the Worm is a chapter book, with each character having their own chapter and storyline. In the first chapter, Wiggly wants to build a town, with shops and restaurants which seems incongruous with a worm, but it was nice how it ended up and how the author encourages children to make similar garden towns for creatures living in their gardens.
The second chapter tells us why Snarky Snail is always grumbling and deals with the death of his Grandpa. The sudden change from a garden town to such a serious subject of bereavement was extreme and came with no warning with the title, Snarky Snail’s Story. Grief is such a sensitive subject and if a child has experienced such loss of a grandparent, it could be very distressing to suddenly come across Snarky Snail’s Story. The story was written nicely, explaining why Snarky was always horrible to his friends, but it would have made more sense not to call him Snarky in the first place – just make him grouchy and sad instead. As it is, the name Snarky doesn’t suit him for the rest of the book.
The third chapter is all about Rattles Snake, who for some unknown reason is living with Wiggly and Snarky in the backyard garden. Rattlesnakes are venomous creatures, and once the family that own the backyard garden discover his existence, they try to eradicate him. Fortunately, Rattles finds a way as the title suggests, to save the day.
Munchy Mosquito’s Last Bite tells the tale of Munchy and how much she loves biting all the humans and sucking their blood. Her friends then tell her that the family complain about how much it hurts and itches and convince her and her other mosquito friends to stop biting humans. If only it was that simple!
Finally, the last chapter is about Macintosh the apple. He hasn’t been introduced at any point in the rest of the book and continues to be neglected by being left on the tree. All he wants is to be eaten - so his friends eat him up! It was a strange ending and left a bitter taste in my mouth, but he died a happy apple so that’s what counts.
I give Wiggly the Worm four stars. The friendship between the creatures was endearing and the craft opportunities in the book were interesting too.