By Tim Magner
Illustration by Lindsay Knapp
This coming of age tale details the developmental trajectory of Earl the earthworm, from the moment he hatches from his tiny cocoon until he realizes his important Earthy destiny. Children will relate to Earl’s process of self-discovery as he encounters other species. He sees that the ants are much stronger than he, the trees much larger, and the bees have the power of flight. But only through following his inner wisdom does he come to recognize his own special gifts and his important role in sustaining the lives around him. At the bottom of each page are factoids about earthworms and other microbial soil-dwelling organisms. The glossy, richly colored illustrations engage the reader’s focus on this lowliest of creatures, whom, as we learn from one footnote, “Charles Darwin declared the most important animal in the history of the world.” This book makes an excellent companion to the Compost Stew book, as both books mention the importance of worms in the creation of compost.