Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Winnie Finn, Worm Farmer by Carol Brendler, illustrated by Ard Hoyt

Winnie Finn loves earthworms. But nobody else seems to recognize their many fascinating qualities. Worst of all, there's no prize at the county fair for earthworms - and no prize means no prize money to get a new wagon.

Winnie asks her neighbors about a prize for worms, but they're all busy with their own fair efforts - corn, eggs, and puppies. Which gives Winnie an idea - maybe her worms can't win a prize, but she can still earn money for a new wagon!

Instructions in the back tell the reader how to create their own worm farm and there are a few extra resources about worms and worm farming.

The story isn't exactly logical - none of the would-be Fair contestants seem to have any idea how to care for their projects on their own and their characters are pretty silly. Mr. Abernathy appears to be gardening in a three-piece suit, Mrs. Yamasaki-O'Sheridan is completely dressed in traditional Japanese clothing with a Japanese garden in the background, while she feeds her chickens, and Mr. Peasley appears to have decided to raise Afghans, a dog breed I understand is rather expensive without having researched their habits or care.

Kids won't care about the illogical events though and everyone can enjoy the silly nonsensical story and cheer for Winnie's inventiveness in earning the money for her new wagon and turning what everyone thinks is an odd hobby into a small business. Ard Hoyt's illustrations are funny and lively and perfectly suit the exuberant, nonsensical story and Winnie's own delightful character.

Verdict: A fun introduction to worm farming in a delightfully silly story. If you don't already have materials on this topic, go ahead and add it.

ISBN: 978-0374384401; Published August 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Borrowed from the library

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