Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading book series gives kids the chance to read new stories from different authors in the speech-bubble style that Mo Willems brought back in vogue through his books. In the case of the newest release, What About Worms?, the author is well known in his own right by now. Ryan T. Higgens is the brilliant mind behind his own Disney/Hyperion book series, Mother Bruce and We Don’t Eat our Classmates.
What About Worms? introduces kids to Tiger, an adorably brave and tough character who looks like a descendant of Tigger from Winnie the Pooh. Tiger is not afraid of anything… except worms, which can be found in many of the things he loves, from pots of flowers to apples and even to the very book kids are holding!
Tiger lists off all of his reasons for not liking worms, but the real hilarity comes when he abandons a pot of flowers, an apple, and this book on the ground. A bunch of worms pop up out of the ground and talk about how scary Tiger is, but when they read the book, they learn to love him.
The takeaway for kids is that the thing they’re most afraid of might be less scary if they learn more about it. Whether it’s an animal or bugs or even something like getting a haircut or going to the doctor, Tiger’s story can be used to help talk to kids about virtually anything they’re afraid of. It can also help inspire follow-up learning about that thing because that’s what the worms do. They read the book about Tiger and go from fearing him to loving him.
While not branded as an early reader, the Elephant & Piggie Like Reading series is full of easy to sound-out words with large text in speech bubbles. Parents could certainly read What About Worms? to their kids, but it’s an ideal book for kids to read to themselves who are able to sound out words. Either way, they’re guaranteed to love it and laugh out loud.