Friday, August 10, 2018

Review: Lucinda's Wormy Journey by Valerie J Ryan

by Valerie J Ryan
Archway Publishing
Picture Book
ages 4 and up

Ferdie and Squirmy are a little out of sorts. For worms, their skin is dried up, and they're feeling lazy. It's been awhile since they've seen rain, and their bodies are suffering. The two friends think they should look for a fresh mud hole. Their pal, Birdie, agrees. But the worms have little sense of direction, and GPS isn't exactly available for the trio of would-be adventurers.

Lucinda the butterfly hears their plight and offers to help them on their quest. This little band of earthworms follows the magical butterfly on an interesting, and often-times challenging, journey to find a new home.

In this picture book for children, Ferdie, Squirmy, and Birdie learn to solve problems, work as a team, and achieve success all while enjoying a grand adventure.


This is a cute story, which mixes fun adventure with working together to overcome difficulties.

Three worms—Birdie, Fredie and Squirmy—are stuck in a heat wave, and it's drying them out. They are determined to find moist mud but have no idea where to go. Luckily, the butterfly Lucinda is known for her knowledge of locations. The three worms ask her to be their guide, but they have no idea what exciting and amazing adventures they're about to encounter along the way.

This is a cute book, which takes a simple problem and turns it into a lovely adventure just right for younger kids. The worms are a friendly trio with a slight pinch of humor in their exchanges. They react naturally to the situations—in so far that talking worms who go on an adventure are natural—and  have a wonderful bond of friendship.

There's a fair amount of text, not overwhelming but definitely good for a read-aloud. The vocabulary is fitting for the age group, and the plot holds a quick enough pace to keep listeners interested what will happen next. The introduction of Lucinda missed a bit of background, and a little more description to help the first setting would have been nice. But the story holds well and doesn't lack clever and humorous exchanges. There's even a couple of musical moments to invite a song, but the responsibility for a fitting tune is left to the reader.

Bright illustrations accompany every page and present the worms as cute, very friendly and simply as characters to enjoy. The scenes have enough details to draw in and accompany the tale well. It's a cute read-aloud with an encouraging message.

And here she is...

Valerie J. Ryan is retired from her 25+ year career in the pharmaceutical industry.  Most recently, she worked for seventeen years in global market research at Pfizer.
Ryan loves to travel, and she has always loved children.   Her work experience with them includes Sunday School teacher, kindergarten assistant and pre-school teacher.
Before moving to New Jersey, Valerie has lived in New York, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Lafayette College and a Master’s in Healthcare Administration and Marketing from Long Island University.

Originally from Mount Vernon, New York, Valerie currently resides in Jackson, New Jersey with her cat, Penny.  This is Ryan’s first book.

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