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Worm Loves Worm

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
Worm Loves Worm Book Poster Image
Love wins in sweet, unconventional wedding tale.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Outlines the planning that goes into a wedding, including common traditions, and shows how participants can break from tradition.

Positive Messages

All you need is love. Traditions and customs that are outdated or aren't a good fit can be changed. The happy couple is at the center of a wedding celebration, but the participation of their friends and loved ones is also important.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Patient Worm and Worm never show irritation with their friends' suggestions. They try to be accommodating because they're focused on being married and less concerned with the ceremonial part. They're creative and flexible and resolve each challenge together. Their well-intentioned friends are happy for them and enjoy the unconventional wedding celebration.

Violence & Scariness
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Worm Loves Worm is a charming way to demonstrate that the trappings of a marriage ceremony aren't nearly as important as the love of those being wed. It's an excellent book to start a conversation about same-sex marriage, but it works just as well as an introduction to wedding celebrations or as an example of how creativity, individuality, and unconventionality can make a big event even more special.

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What's the story?

Worm loves Worm, and they happily agree to be married. But, Cricket interjects, they need someone to marry them, because that's how it's always been done. Then their friends point out they need a best beetle, the bride's bees, and even rings and a band, though the worms don't have fingers to sport their rings or feet to dance with. They agreeably accommodate their friends, eager to be married. The trickiest part comes when their friends wonder how to identify the bride and the groom. No problem for Worm and Worm -- one dons the tux and veil, the other the wedding gown and top hat. And then, finally, they wed.

Is it any good?

Love really isn't complicated, and the winsome worms in this charming story are a fine example of the joy and confidence in that simple understanding. Whether you read this as a smart take on same-sex marriage and changing gender norms or a celebration of free and kindred spirits, WORM LOVES WORM is irresistible. It's the debut picture book from J.J. Austrian and features charming artwork by Mike Curato (Little Elliot, Big City), whose hermaphroditic worms are distinguishable only by their eyes. They seem bemused by their friends' fussing about, smiling and playfully resolving every concern -- they can't dance, but they have fun wiggling, and though they don't have fingers they proudly wear their wedding bands as belts. In the end, Worm loves Worm, and that's all that matters.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Worm and Worm bend tradition to suit their situation. How have you or your family both honored and updated traditions?

  • How do you respond when people tell you something must be done a certain way because it's always been so?

  • Which wedding traditions do you like? Which would you change if you were getting married?

Book details

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