‘Superworm’ is written and illustrated by the team who produced the hugely successful book, ‘The Gruffalo’. Superworm is a hero to all of the animals around him, helping them out with any problems they encounter.  As a result, he is highly valued and respected and the animals rally round to support him when he ends up in a sticky situation later on in the story.

In my experience as a teacher, children are immediately hooked by the catchy verses and colourful illustrations.  In terms of its educational value, Superworm teaches children about the value of friendship, community and support.  However, deeper within the story there is a subtle environmental tone, with the selection of a worm as the main character possibly reflecting the Earthworm’s role as a keystone species in several ecosystems.  Furthermore, the Forestry Commission have embraced Superworm as a theme for their self-led family nature trails around the country.  The use of Superworm for a nature trail exploits the book’s latent environmental potential and although the focus is weighted more towards PSHE than Science in terms of links to the curriculum, the book is extremely valuable and I would not hesitate to recommend it.

Zoe Midgley   

Superworm – a children’s book written in verse. Julia Donaldson; illustrations by Axel Scheffler. ISBN: 978-1-407159447; Alison Green Books; £4.99