Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Worms

Friot, Bernard (Author)
Guillerey, Aurélie (Illustrator)
Kids Can Press 2015. 28 pages
First published: 2015
ISBN: 9781771385718 (hardcover)
Original language: French
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, point of view

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Rascals and rebels will chuckle vicariously over this rich boy’s first-person account of what he did to spice up an otherwise dull dinner. “I was bored. SO bored!” exclaims the hero of this deliciously comical revenge fantasy. “My father had invited the senior executives from the factory to dinner and made me join them.”

The story unfolds in bold graphics, with a soupçon of vintage-style comics in a 1940s-1950s colour palette. Guests are portrayed sitting primly around the posh table, when their boastful windbag boss asks his son to serve the salads. Happy to have an excuse to leave the table, the boy heads to the kitchen where a thought bubble appears next to his mischievous face: “I’m not sure why, but looking at the salads, I suddenly thought of worms.” Decorating each salad with a worm from his fishing bait jar, he rejoins the party. “After that, I wasn’t bored anymore. I couldn’t wait to see how everyone would react to the worms.”

From there, the story gets even goofier as dinner guests do their best to disguise their disgust, not wanting to offend their host. “Mr. Turner was the funniest. When he saw the worm, he hiccupped so hard, his glasses fell into the salad bowl.” Meanwhile, the worms are depicted goggling at the guests, amping up the absurdity of the situation.

Calling Richie Rich to mind, “the poor little rich boy” hero of the 1950s comic book series, this silly satire on the super affluent will have readers roaring from beginning to end. Good plain fun.

  •  

    Read the story until the boy goes into the kitchen to get the salads. Predict what will happen next.

  •  

    In groups (of five), divide up the story and practise acting out the scenes, with props if you wish. Present your work to the whole class.

  •  

    Write a new last page showing the boy’s reaction to eating a worm. Perhaps you might also include the group’s reaction to him.

  •  

    Illustrations often extend the meaning of the story. Make a T-chart: note details in the illustrations on one side; on the other side, explain what you can infer about the story through them.

  •  

    Read Elise Gravel’s book, The Worm, to gain background knowledge on worms. Create your own story that includes worms, with original twists of your own.

  •  

    Read the story until the boy goes into the kitchen to get the salads. Predict what will happen next.

  •  

    In this story, the people are polite and take care of the worms in different ways. How would you react? Create and present a skit in which people react in different ways to something strange on their plate. Borrow some sentences from the story. Include polite and not-so-polite reactions.

  •  

    On a safe research site for kids, look up more on entomophagy (eating insects). Why do people eat insects? Are they easily accessible? Is it a sustainable or healthy practice? Have you tried it? If not, would you like to?

  • To communicate appropriately
  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To exercise critical judgment
  • To use creativity
  • Drama
  • Visual Arts
  • The Worm (E. Gravel) (Background Knowledge)