The Bookworm

The Bookworm

By Author / Illustrator

Debi Gliori, Debi Gliori



Age range(s)



Bloomsbury Publishing PLC







Max desperately wants a new pet but his parents are far from sure that its a good idea. Puppy? They chew too much. Parrot? They talk too much. Shark? They bite too much! How about a Dragon? Well obviously Max's parents are right when they say that they do't exist .... aren't they? Running out of options, Max settles on his very own pet worm. Excited by finally being a pet owner, Max begins studying worms and what they need. All is going well until this particular worm begins to exhibit less traditional traits, such as turning spiky, breathing smoke and an appetite for chilli flavoured crisps. Could it be that there is more to this worm than meets the eye? As a teacher of young children, my class really enjoyed this as an end of the day story. It lead to many discussions about pets and dream pets as well as helping as develop our prediction and inference skills through studying the pictures. It would also be easy to innovate this story and challenge the children to think of another animal that could be disguised as something it isn't. This is a funny and light-hearted story that is perfect for any child who has been relentlessly asking for a pet. It even comes with the added bonus of delivering the message of being careful what you wish for! Picture book / Ages 3+ / Reviewed by Kyle Matravers, teacher

Suggested Reading Age 3+


What a treat to find a new picture book by Debi Gliori, and The Bookworm really is a treat, bringing as it does Gliori's masterful touch with relationships, childhood desires and the unexpected - and not forgetting her gorgeous illustrations with lots of humorous touches! In the story, Max wants a pet but as ever, his parents are worried about which one he will choose. Puppies chew, parrots are noisy and sharks? Well, they just have too many teeth. Max would love a dragon - but they don't exist. Max tries out any number of bugs instead and eventually settles for a worm. Here, the reader sees the rather gorgeous underground home the little worm is taken from, and this could generate discussions among the children around moving house, or getting a new pet - could the pet miss its old home? Once Max has his pet worm home and settled in to its new surroundings, he is surprised by its preference for chilli crisps - and is that smoke it is blowing out? Before long, Max is questioning exactly what his new pet is! This is a really lovely story about a boy bonding with his new pet - and the surprises that come along the way. Children could be encouraged to talk about the pets they have, and for older children to write about living with a different kind of pet, something more unusual and mythical than everyday, but still thinking about what their pet would need to eat, its habitat and habits. This is a beautiful story that makes a great read-aloud with a group of children, as well as a lovely book to read alone and to pour over the detail in the illustrations. Picture book / Ages 4+ / Reviewed by Ellen Green

Suggested Reading Age 3+


Other titles