24th March '17
We chose this book as our focus for World Book Day 2017 and used craft materials to make the characters and various props for a storysack to be used alongside the book. The book itself is very colourful and bright with beautifully drawn images by Axel Scheffler. The duo always create beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable books to read and look at. It'd be great for a topic on minibeasts as the characters are all based on creatures you'd find in the garden and parks. The idea of a worm being a superhero is quite exciting and humorous because it is viewed of as a helpless and tiny creature that just helps soil. With the great addition of rhyme which is usual for Julia Donaldson it's a perfect book for even younger children, even though the story itself is quite long and wordy each page doesn't have huge amounts of writing on them, but the engaging pictures should keep the children focused from as young as 3. The adventures of Superworm follow him around as he keeps other amphibians and minibeasts out of trouble by contorting his body into different shapes such as a lasso - wrapping himself around a tree and gripping onto a toad in the road, allowing the bored honey bees to use him as a skipping rope, rescuing a beetle from a well by acting as a fishing line on the end of a twig - manned by other minibeasts. The pictures are great talking points as they are very busy and interesting and could be used as a teaching tool to introduce the idea of prepositions - where is the ladybird? next to a rock, under a tree, on top of a stone etc. It uses direct speech throughout as each animal speaks and again this could be useful for introducing and exploring speech in stories. Superworm is the hero of his home until he is captured by the evil grow who is a servant for the Wizard Lizard in order to find the wizard some treasure in the soil. The Wizard Lizard keeps him as his treasure hunter by placing a magic spell on him so poor Superwrom has to oblige, and tunnel and twist and turn and writhe through the soil - which worms usually love to do, but not Superworm. He wants to save people, rescue them and be a hero. To no avail, he doesn't find any treausre, unless you count a plastic spoon and a toffee...which the lizard didn't! He threatened him with feeding him to his servant crow, if he didn't quickly find some treasure. To return the favour of saving them, the animals get together and plot to rescue Superworm from the cruel Lizard. All of the garden creatures and animals flock to save Superworm - armed with a juicy piecce of honeycomb. The snails chew up his magic flower and that allows them to steal his magical powers. The caterpillars collect leaves and the spider weaves a web. All of the animals - doing their everyday jobs but in a plot to save their hero. They roll the Wizard Lizard up into the web which is strong enough to hold him and the bees lift him into the air and fly him away to another place whilst he is covered in leaves and honey - too sticky to fight back, eventually they dump him in the garbage heap and leave him there. Superworm is able to escape and return to his home much to the pleasant surprise of his friends. He soon goes back to his old ways of making others happy by being; a slide, a swing, a belt, a hat, a hoola hoop...etc. In the book there are other creatures from the Julia Donaldson collection, like the mouse from The Gruffalo. The story ends happily, with all of the creatures and animals relieved and thankful that Superworm is back!
A beautiful story about working together and being friends with elements of problem solving in order to achieve a desired outcome. A great story for any Julia Donaldson fan or lover of bugs, beetles and worms etc. The use of repetition allows the children to quickly become involved in the book and join in whenever the chant is read aloud.
My class loved this book and adore Julia Donaldson with many of them choosing her books for their reading on a regular basis. It's definitely a book that can be re-read often and I'll be reading it again when we change our topic to wiggling animals. It can spark interest, inform and engage as well and being enjoyed for pleasure.
The children thought: KB would like to give it a larger star rating because it was really fun. He said, "I liked the book because Superworm was kind and I liked the other beetles because they helped Superworm escape. The Wizard was mean. I've never seen a worm like that. It was really good." KB aged 6
KC aged 7: "I would give it 5 out of 5 stars because I liked that Superworm looked after his friends but I also liked that they wwanted to do soemthing kind in return."
I would recommend it to my dad and cousin because they love history and they tell me a lot about it too.
TD aged 6: "I liked the book because Superworm was kind to all the others and used himself because he was long to help all of the others and then they helped him by being kind too."
H aged 7: "I liked that Superworm used himself as a skipping rope because that was funny, worms can't do that they aren't long enough."