Wednesday 27 February 2013


Superworm by Julia Donaldson, illustration by Axel Scheffler (Scholastic UK)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 978-1-407132– 04-4
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

“Superworm is super-long.
Superworm is super-strong.
Watch him wiggle! Watch him squirm!
Hip, hip, hooray for SUPERWORM!”

I adore the combination of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and look forward to each new book with set high expectations. Superworm does not disappoint. Once again Donaldson has perfect rhyme and metre making it a pleasure to read out loud. Scheffler’s familiar illustrations are delightful, full of humour colour and life.

Superworm is a friend to all in the garden. He helps out anyone who is in trouble in the most inventive ways:

Help! Disaster! Baby Toad
Has hopped on to a major road.
“Quick! Whatever can we do?”
Look – a Superworm lasso!

But who will help him when he is in trouble? Well, everyone of course.

The simple message of the importance of helping out your friends no matter how small and powerless you feel is entertainingly brought across through the text and illustrations. Superworm is carried off by Wizard Lizard and his servant crow. His friends from the garden rally together to rescue their superhero and the plan is ingenious and unusual.

Young children will relish the small amount of danger, knowing a happy ending is coming. And they will love to explore the garden’s tiny world of insects, bugs and small creatures. There is a page dedicated to illustrations of the Superworm in various contortions: - a swing, a hoola-hoop, a hat, a crane – and children with patience and good eyes may even spot the Gruffalo. The language is lively and repetitive, just as young children love it.

Toddlers from a young age will love this story and its complexity will keep children up to early primary age amused as well.

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