Book Review: Diary of a Worm: Teacher's Pet

Based on the creation of Doreen Cronin & Harry Bliss
by Lori Haskins Houran, & pictures by John Nez
Publisher: HarperCollins (June 25, 2013)
Source: Purchased Copy
Keywords: Fiction,

Description from Publisher's Page:
Children already know and love Worm from the hilarious bestselling picture book by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss. Worm is all about having fun, respecting the earth, and never taking baths. Now he’s the star of a series of I Can Read books with full-color illustrations.

In Diary of a Worm: Teacher's Pet, Worm makes a surprising discovery—teachers have birthdays! That means Worm and his friends have to find the perfect present for their teacher, Mrs. Mulch.

Diary of a Worm: Teacher's Pet is a Level One I Can Read book, which means it is perfect for kids learning to sound out words and sentences.

My thoughts on this book:
Since I am a fan of Doreen Cronin's Diary of a Worm, I was interested in seeing the transition from picture book to early reader.  Similar to the original version, this early reader follows the same diary format. When I went back to look at the picture book in comparison to the early reader, I was surprised by how similar the two (picture book and early reader) were.  Lori Haskins Houran and John Nez have done a nice job in maintaining the same look, and story feel as the picture book series created by Doreen Cronin and Harry Bliss.

Diary of a Worm: Teacher's Pet is part of HarperCollins' I Can Read Early Reader Series.  I was curious to know how the reading levels for the I Can Read books were established.  HarperCollins has set up a website for parents and teachers, which provides information and activities.  On the Educators tab, teachers can find out information about reading levels. According to the site,  Diary of a Worm: Teacher's Pet is labeled a Level 1: Beginning Reading.  See below for what that means...

Now back to Diary of a Worm: Teacher's Pet.  When Mrs. Mulch is out of school to celebrate her birthday, the class decides to hold a birthday party for when she returns.  Worm feels like everyone has ideas for birthday gifts, but what should he give.  His family and friends try to generate a list of gifts.  Of course Spider's suggestion of a slippers won't work for a worm, and maybe the dung ball suggestion from Fly would be better appreciated by another fly.  However, with the help of Fly and Spider, Worm finds the best birthday gift ever for his teacher.

Early readers who became friends with Worm, Fly, and Spider through Cronin's picture books will enjoy a chance to continue the friendship while learning to read.  This one gets a thumbs up from me. I will be looking for more stories with this trio.