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They Didn't Teach THIS in Worm School! by…

They Didn't Teach THIS in Worm School!

by Simone Lia

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175818,363 (4.14)1



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This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Pretty fun book. All the pictures kept my kids engaged. It was really fun to read with the kids. A lot of books seem too random but this one had a lot of adventure with diversions while maintaining a sense of order. Fun! ( )
  Vaughnso | Apr 21, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
A very cute and funny story of the unlikely friendship between Marcus, a fast-thinking worm, and Laurence, a chicken who thinks he's a flamingo. In an effort to avoid getting eaten by Laurence, Marcus ends up being his guide on a journey to Africa via Paris -- though they end up in neither place. They meet a colorful cast of characters and become excellent friends. Kids will enjoy the fun illustrations and the funny, wacky story. ( )
  sylliu | Feb 16, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The publication releases for this sounded funny, so I went ahead and requested it (accidentally twice). When it came I had doubts. Too much text? Too introspective? Too European? But ultimately I think it is quite funny, although it might not be everyone's cup of tea.

Marcus the worm lives a normal life, in his normal tunnels underground. But one day he meets Laurence. Laurence is, well, let's just say he looks like a rather small, plump chicken. Yes, he's a pigeon. And Marcus is in a can with Laurence about to eat him! It's at that moment that Marcus' life changes. Instead of resigning himself to his fate, screaming all the way down Laurence's beak, or even trying to squirm away, Marcus says good morning. Things move on from there and Marcus finds himself flying across the French countryside with Laurence. Laurence firmly believes he's a flamingo and has a dream of traveling to the Lake Nakuru National Park, in Kenya, to be with his fellow flamingos. He's never had the courage (or the navigational ability) to fulfill his dream but with Marcus at his side, it's time to soar!

At first unwilling, Marcus goes along because he has no choice. But after the two make some marvelous discoveries, have some close calls (I KNEW squirrels were evil!), and learn a little more about each other, both have an epiphany. Having arrived at a zoo a few miles away from their home, Marcus realizes that he's had new adventures and experiences he might never have had without Laurence and they have become true friends. Laurence realizes he's not really a flamingo, but that's ok - and because he decided to listen to a worm, instead of eating him, he's managed to fulfill some of his dreams instead of just staying home and thinking about them.

Lia's cartoons are sparse, but add an amusing dimension to the quirky story when they appear. In the galley I received for review they are in black and white, but the finished book will be in two colors - I'm guessing that it will go along with the cover, Marcus as a pink curve and Laurence a plump, gray and white pigeon with squiggled feathers. Of course there's also the crazy squirrel, mean mole, and all the other odd characters they meet along the way.

Verdict: At almost 200 pages this is a little long for a beginning chapter book and a little short for most middle grade readers. It won't appeal to every kid, but the odd, quirky characters and dry sense of humor are sure to find at least a few fans. An additional purchase.

ISBN: 9780763695361; Published February 2018 by Candlewick; Galley provided by publisher (and LT Early Reviewers) for review
  JeanLittleLibrary | Nov 22, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
The publisher's description accurately captures the spirit of this book.

"A hungry chicken (who thinks he’s a flamingo) and a quick-thinking worm set off on a madcap adventure — and forge an unlikely friendship."

Published first in the UK, it has a definite feel of British humor, which I enjoy. I often think that we, as Americans, take ourselves too seriously. Canadians and Brits definitely have a quirkier funny bone, and it is on full display in They Didn't Teach This in Worm School. When Marcus and Laurence set off on their adventure, the goal is to find Africa so that Laurence can unite with his "fellow" flamingos. Along the way, they become convinced that they've found France because of the many "Eiffel Towers" (electricity pylons) that they encounter.

Marcus and Laurence take this all in stride, even the fact that no one in "France" seems to speak French. Things go poorly and, aided by some local worms, they narrowly escape with their lives, prompting Marcus to remark,

"I was really glad to have met these French worms.
They were really kind and helpful.
I liked them, even though they were weirdos."

Their adventures continue in a similar zany vein until eventually, all is sorted out, and the two have become fast friends despite their disparate interests.

Every page is illustrated to some degree, and there are occasional double-spread images throughout. Simone Lia's illustrations bear some resemblance to those of Sara Varon, but have more straight-up humor and none of Varos' pathos.

They Didn't Teach This in Worm School is a perfect choice for readers with a quirky sense of humor who won't mind a rather heavy-handed dose of ethics on the friendship front.

Images and more on my blog: https://shelf-employed.blogspot.com/2017/11/they-didnt-teach-this-in-worm-school.html ( )
  shelf-employed | Nov 3, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a quick fun read. It is not normally a book I would pick up as a homeschool mom of 5, however, it is a book I would hand my beginning reader. It is funny and amusing in a slapstick sort of way. Laurence is going to enjoy Marcus for breakfast one morning when suddenly they strike up a conversation. Turns out Laurence wants to go to Africa and is convinced that Marcus can show him the way.Both characters are a little foolish and ignorant, but that adds to their charm. There are also some "suspension of belief" moments in the book where someone goes to sleep and suddenly there is a plot jump. Again, it fits the type of book this is. I enjoyed this story for what it was and know that kids between 5-9ish and boys a bit older will enjoy it too. Topics are travel and friendship. ( )
  Jesslaw | Oct 24, 2017 |
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Publisher Annotation: Marcus is a worm, and a bird named Laurence who looks very much like a chicken is about to eat him for breakfast. So what does Marcus do? He strikes up a conversation, of course! But even after talking his way out of being eaten, Marcus?s troubles are just beginning: soon he is clinging to Laurence?s neck as the designated navigator on an absurd journey to Kenya, where his feathered companion dreams of finding happiness with other flamingos like himself. Except Marcus can?t actually read a map, and this bird is clearly not a flamingo. Will Marcus be able to get them both to Africa ? or even manage to survive the day? Filled with kid-friendly illustrations, this is a buddy comedy that will have readers wriggling with laughter.… (more)

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