Monday, January 10, 2022

Review: Ear Worm! by Jo Knowles


by Jo Knowles
Illustrated by Galia Bernstein
Candlewick Press
32 pages
ages 4 to 8

JANUARY 25th!!!

A musical treat for the ear and eye, this antic tale of a worm on a mission doubles as a cozy bedtime book.

One summer day, as Little Worm heads out to play, he discovers he has a song stuck in his head. “What’s that you’re singing?” Owl asks, but Little Worm can’t say. He wriggles past, determined to learn who filled his head with “Shimmy shimmy, no-sashay.” Owl flaps along with a song of his own, and before long Chipmunk, Bunny, and Fox fall in line, each contributing an ear worm to the joyful cacophony. Amid all the singing and dancing, Little Worm forgets his musical mystery until later when—surprise!—Papa Worm tucks him in. Hip, vintage-inspired illustrations and whimsical typesetting meet movement, sound play, and comic, cumulative delights in a picture book that will charm media-savvy children and their parents alike.



Ear worms carry more than just a little contagious fun...and this little worm squiggles to his in the cutest way.

Little Worm can't stop singing and dancing to a song. When the owl tells him that he has an ear worm (and what that means), Little Worm is determined to figure out, who planted it in his head. Each friend he meets has an ear worm of their own, but they are ready to help him find the source of his. 

The illustrations and words flow together to create music, which is so visual, you can feel it. The Little Worm's beginning 'shimmy, shimmy, non-sashay' continues with repetition and mixes in with entertaining dance, the worm is super cute. Each animal joins along with their own musical words and dance style, which creates a contagious fun. It's hard not to smile as the line of animals head on their way.

The text alternates between the songs, and more, with story. The songs are written in large and creative font and are printed cozied close to the particular animal, who sings it. The switch back-and-forth makes this great as a read-aloud, since the reader can get creative. Listeners will definitely want to join in and, with time, be able to speak the very short songs themselves.

This is a read, which not only makes it clear what an ear worm is, but radiates the joy for music and dance. It's silly and will have a reader wanting to join in with their own 'ear worm'. But it also ends with a feeling of love and warmth, which gives it a wholesome touch. Oh, and let's not forget that this book shows how fun it can be to simply share adventures with friends. 

And here they are...

Jo Knowles
 is the renowned author of several middle-grade and young adult novels, including See You at Harry’s, Still a Work in Progress, Where the Heart Is, and Jumping Off SwingsEar Worm! is her picture-book debut. She lives in Vermont.

Galia Bernstein is the acclaimed author-illustrator of I Am a Cat and Leyla. She lives in Brooklyn.

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