All the Things

A blog by Holly Papa.

Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss

by | Jun 9, 2009 | Blog | 8 comments

“Save the Worms! Save the Worms!”diary of a worm

We’ve had a lot of rain this spring, and each time it rains, the worms come out for air. Our walks to school then take twice as long and are filled with worm rescues- but usually only for the biggest and the best. I’m warned to be careful multiple times, and chastised every time a stroller wheel rolls over an unfortunate one. But, when there are so many out there, it’s amazing I miss as many as I do. It reminded me of junior high and our (Cari and my) half-mile walk to the bus stop. We almost missed the bus one day in the spring because we were stepping so carefully (and screaming like girls about gross worms) to avoid all the worms. We had to run for the last 300 yards pell mell and stepped on tons of worms in our mad dash to catch the bus.

On the way home a few weeks ago, after a down pour, my toddler spotted a big juicy one right in the middle of the road. And he insisted that I save it. “What?” I did not sign up to be a worm rescuer when I became a Mom. But, I couldn’t turn him down, he would have been heart broken. So, I found a piece of paper in my pocket and tried to pick the worm up with it. It didn’t work very well, and I got slimed when the worm contracted and writhed as all worms do. Eventually, after much dropping and sliming, I got the worm moved over to the gutter, which was ‘safe enough’ to make us all happy.

Living in the country as we have these past five years, we didn’t often see the worms come out and party every time it rained- apparently its more of a city worm thing to do, either that or our soil drained remarkably well in Washington. Anyway, all of this worm business got me thinking about a cute book we read awhile ago called Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin (author of Click, Clack, Moo and other family favorites) and excellently illustrated by cartoonist Harry Bliss. The book has that Sunday Comics pleasure read feel- and yet is also filled with facts that make it a useful teaching tool.You can even follow it up with a worm count walk after the next downpour. Today, my little one and I took an extra long walk home so he could count worms. “1, 2, 3 . . . 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, uh-yeven.” It was fun and educational and preoccupied him from sending me to the rescue of every worm we saw. (phew!)

So, if you’ve been coming across lots of worms this spring, give this book a good read and you will come away more appreciative of the great work worms do for our earth- especially our gardens! Maybe you’ll even be brave enough to rescue one or two. I like worms, even if I don’t like to touch them. Do you like worms?


  1. Britt

    I did the worm rescue thing as a kid. Now it’s pill bugs. 😀
    (Except instead of rescuing them, my daughter is poking them to make them roll up…. oh well, at least she’s not rolling them down the driveway like we did!)

  2. Melissa

    Oh how this book makes me smile! Love it.

  3. hollybookscoops

    Britt- Ooh, we have a fascination with pill bugs around here too. Just last week at the playground I heard whining from my littlest followed by, ‘Mommy, my bug break in half. My bug broken. I open it. It break a half.” Apparently, he’s not so fond of the fact that they roll into balls. I personally think they’d vote for rolling down the driveway instead.

    Melissa- I agree, great book! Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Sharon

    We did our rescue the worms bit when my kids were little. Now I go snail hunting when it rains – the little flower munchers! Love the book.

  5. Fulano

    Bugs and boys go hand in hand. We used to collect all sorts of critters and bring them in the house to scare Mom and our sisters. It was always a laugh to see them squirm. We especially liked grasshoppers except that they would spit on your hands when you picked them up. We’d put them in the freezer so when mom would reach into grab something she’d be in for a surprise.

    As for worms we were nice to them cause Dad told us they were good for the garden soil. Worms kind of creeped me out cause when ever it would rain they’d all come to the surface. I never knew there were so many worms ruling the underworld. I did my best to tip toe around them all as I hated the squishy feeling under foot.

  6. caribookscoops

    Holly I love this story both the book and you being the worm rescuer (glad that was not me). As a child I love playing with worms, would pick them up, put them in a box and would be upset when they tried to get away (since my box had no lid). Now as an adult I would have to be desperate to even touch one. And with the weather we have been lately it feels like we’ve had spring in June with rain (and worms) almost every day.

  7. Natasha @ Maw Books

    Oh my goodness Holly. My little boy is INFATUATED with worms right now. I feel like an idiot because I didn’t even think about checking out a worm book from the library. Off to do that now. Thanks!

  8. hollybookscoops

    Sharon- Snail hunting? No thank you. I’d rather rescue worms. Although we did our fair share of snail hunting as kids. They just seem nastier, but I guess if you must you must.

    Fulano- You sound like you grew up with my husband. I think he and his brothers froze grasshoppers and then, at least once, took one back out and left it on a counter or dresser for their Mom to find. As far as worms go, yeah, I don’t like that squishy feeling under foot either.

    Cari- Crazy weather we’ve had this summer. I remember collecting worms and snails and trying to keep them in containers. We were always a little miffed that they thought they needed to escape- I mean we were going to take such good care of them, didn’t they feel safe with us? It’s a good thing we didn’t have lids for a cool whip containers, otherwise there would have been some stinky surprises when someone found our abandoned projects.

    Natasha- Glad I could help. I hope your little guy likes the book. It’s funny on a kids level and on a grown-up level, making it a great group read.


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