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Worm Loves Worm

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Perfect for fans of And Tango Makes Three and The Sissy Duckling, this irresistible picture book is a celebration of love in all its splendid forms from debut author J. J. Austrian and the acclaimed author-illustrator of Little Elliot, Big City, Mike Curato.

You are cordially invited to celebrate the wedding of a worm . . . and a worm.

When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to know—who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux?

The answer is: It doesn't matter. Because Worm loves worm.

32 pages, Hardcover

First published January 5, 2016

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J.J. Austrian

1 book21 followers

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5 stars
970 (40%)
4 stars
810 (34%)
3 stars
387 (16%)
2 stars
116 (4%)
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84 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 458 reviews
Profile Image for Caitlyn.
19 reviews5 followers
November 4, 2015
This one took me by surprise. Sweet and simple, it manages to discuss gender, sexuality and "changing the way things have always been done" in a way that felt entirely natural to me.
Profile Image for Henry Herz.
Author 30 books131 followers
November 18, 2015
Two worms in love decide to marry. But it's never that simple. Cricket offers to officiate, because “That's how it's always been done.” One after another, other helpful bugs suggest nuptial enhancements. Beetle wants to be best man. Bees offer to be bridesmaids. A series of wedding traditions are presented and accommodated by the flexible worms. When it comes to wedding garb, the worms are especially flexible. Given their hermaphroditic nature, either worm can be the bride or groom. So, each wears elements of both a bride's gown and groom's tuxedo. Rule-bound Cricket says that's not how it's done. The independent-minded worms politely insist they will start their own tradition. After all, they love each other, dirt breath and all.

The story handles the subject of same sex marriage with sensitivity and a light touch. And readers too young for that topic will still enjoy the limbless protagonists and their buggy buddies. Illustrator Mike Curato, himself a same sex marriage partner (but not an earthworm), uses simple but brightly-colored bugs set on a white backgrounds to convey humor and the good nature of the characters (as well as the somewhat curmudgeonly Cricket). Let no one object to this marriage!
2,795 reviews6 followers
May 31, 2016
So I think there was a message here, and maybe it could be a kind of cute wedding present for a gay couple, but as a kids' book, it's not working for me. If it's ok for anyone to be the bride or the groom, why do they still have to follow all the other dumb traditions? Why can't they have dirt to eat and cowboy hats to wear? Ugh, I hate the wedding industry!
Profile Image for Dave Schaafsma.
Author 6 books31.5k followers
November 14, 2016
Each year I and my family read and rate all the Goodreads picture book nominees. This one is nominated for 2016. I make a few comments and then add their separate ratings and a comment from each of them. There's 20 (15 first round and 5 new ones for the semi-final round) and this is the eighteenth being rated. My rating might be somewhat influenced by the family, naturally.

Dave: Hint of GLBT theme? A commentary on tradition and "we've always done it that way," in particular weddings. Cute, sweet.

Tara (my wife): 3 1/2 stars. Change the traditions!
Harry (11): 2 1/2 stars. Didn't like it that much.
Hank (10): 1 star. Didn't like it. [whoa, harsh, Hank!]
Lyra (9): 2 stars. Not very good.

[This is the harshest rating by the kids of the 18 books so far, which is interesting in that actual and Goodreads friend Ann lists it as one of her favorites, 5 stars!]
Profile Image for Mehsi.
12.3k reviews373 followers
January 2, 2017
Well, this one sounded cuter, and much more fun, than it actually was. :(

I was really looking forward to this one, a wedding between worms? Yes, yes please! But instead of a fun wedding all we got were 2 worms who were being pushed left and right by all kinds of insects who apparently thought they were oh so smart.

It frankly just got annoying. I just wished the worms would shout something like, screw this, we will marry the way we want to marry. :| They finally do protest, but sorry, that at the end of the book. Bleh.

Really those insects should just have left the worms to themselves. Who cares how you get married, isn't marriage about love, care, and truly going for each other. You don't need a fancy wedding (though I am sure it is fun). Or a wedding that is perfectly organised so that it is just like every other wedding.
And every time you thought, ah, now we are through with all the insects, the next one pops up to ask/complain/or something else. No. Just no.

The art was so-so. It was a bit boring as there were no backgrounds. :(

Review first posted at https://twirlingbookprincess.com
Profile Image for Rod Brown.
5,543 reviews196 followers
October 11, 2022
Worm and Worm declare their love and keep their cool through all their wedding preparations even as they have to repeatedly help their tradition-bound friends remove their heads from their butts.

"That's how it's always been done" is one of the worst phrases in the human lexicon.
Profile Image for Mary Lee.
3,008 reviews55 followers
January 8, 2016
So much fun! All the insects pile on to make sure that Worm and Worm have a wedding "the way it's always been done." But when the spider goes to put the veil on the bride, both Worm and Worm explain that they can be the bride. Same with being the groom. And as for their wedding, "...we'll just have to change how it's done," says Worm. The wedding turned out just fine, because Worm loves Worm.

Profile Image for Jasmine.
Author 1 book131 followers
March 19, 2016
Worm and worm just want to get married, because they love each other, but everyone keeps insisting on STUFF. Cake, and veil, and dancing, and best beetle— will they ever get to just be married and celebrate?
Profile Image for Barb Middleton.
1,755 reviews126 followers
May 11, 2016
I read this aloud and realized on the surface its about marriage, but it also reflects same-sex marriage and could apply to either males or females. It is age appropriate and good for younger kids.
Profile Image for Sisi.
25 reviews
May 30, 2017
This book is about two worms who love each other and want to get married. Their friends want to help them out by being a part of the wedding party, "like how it is usually done." However, both worms realized that neither one of them can be the groom or bride and both of them can be either the groom or bride. So, they were able to get married but not "like how it is usually done." It contains themes of love and acceptance. It's a good way to introduce students to different family structures.
Profile Image for Linda .
3,776 reviews43 followers
December 26, 2016
Worm Loves Worm tells the tale of two worms who fall in love and want to get married. Simple? It seems that it should be, until others add their own ideas of "how" to marry. Cricket decides they need someone to marry them, and that it will be him. Then Beetle insists there must be a "Best Beetle", and the bees shout that they can be "Best Bees". Each time, the worms agree, and ask, "Now, Can we be married?" You can imagine how this continues on. These two worms are so agreeable; they love each other and simply want to get married! The crisis happens, after a few fashion questions, when it is discovered that both worms can be the bride, OR both can be the groom. "Then we'll just change how it's done," says Worm. "Yes," says Worm. The book is a celebration of love between two worms, and they just want to get married. When read, one does wonder why there is such a fuss. The illustrations are simply done showing good, and funny, expressions as the action moves along. It was hilarious when the worms said they didn't eat cake, only dirt, and Spider say "I can eat the cake along with Cricket and Beetle." Cricket holds on to Beetle and they both say, "What did you say?" I enjoyed the book very much.
Profile Image for Sarah.
812 reviews11 followers
January 22, 2020
I love this book. It is always good for conversation with the kids and always interesting to see how they react. It warms my heart to see accepting and open reactions towards things that are normally considered "gender specific."
Profile Image for Destinee.
1,608 reviews149 followers
March 31, 2016
I thought this was going to be a book about how silly weddings are. But it's actually a book about love without labels. Worm and Worm are each both bride and groom. The final illustration is just amazing and beautiful. Dest loves Worm Loves Worm book.
Profile Image for Abigail.
7,174 reviews187 followers
February 9, 2019
When Worm falls in love with Worm, the next step is marriage. But the course of lumbricine love never did run smooth, and our two earth-burrowing heroes (heroines?) find that their friends and acquaintances have a number of preconceived notions about how marriage ceremonies ought to work. From Cricket, who informs them that someone (perhaps himself?) needs to marry them, to Beetle and the Bees, who offer to be the best man and 'bridesbees,' respectively, all the other creatures chime in with suggestions and offers. Worm and Worm are agreeable, and after much negotiation - both can be grooms, and both can be brides, as the case may be - the marriage finally gets under way...

A sweet look at the social expectations that often surround marriage, and how those can be adjusted and adapted in the case of less traditional couples, Worm Loves Worm puts the affectionate bond between the prospective spouses front and center, gently driving home the point that it is love that is most important in marriage, not who wears the tux and who wears the gown. While it can certainly be read as an argument in favor of same-sex marriage, I think the story also emphasizes the more general point that the emotions involved in this big day, and the commitment the two participants are making to one another, are far more important than the outward trapping of ritual and practice. This is just as relevant for heterosexual couples, I would think. I'm not sure I absolutely loved the book, as some of my acquaintance have - I wasn't as impressed with the artwork here, as I was with Mike Curato's work for the Little Elliot books - but it does have charm.
Profile Image for Lygeri.
301 reviews21 followers
July 1, 2020
Δε νομίζω ότι αυτό το βιβλίο απευθύνε��αι σε πολύ μικρά παιδιά όπως διατείνεται...Είναι ένα βιβλίο γραμμένο από μεγάλους που νομίζουν ότι ξέρουν πως σκέφτονται τα παιδιά. Ίσως θα ήταν καλύτερο για παιδιά άνω των εφτά, τα οποία καταλαβαίνουν καλύτερα τις έννοιες περί σεξουαλικού προσανατολισμού κι έχουν τις απορίες τους. Τώρα, "επαναστατικό" βιβλίο που σπάει το κατεστημένο, δεν είναι. Ναι, τα σκουλίκια είναι ερμαφρόδιτα και Ω τι καλά, τα παιδιά μαθαίνουν για την ελευθερία επιλογής. Μπούρδες. Καθ'όλη τη διάρκεια της ιστορίας ο κοινωνικός τους περίγυρος τους επιβάλει τον τρόπο που θα παντρευτούν και πως πρέπει να γίνουν τα πράγματα με τον κουμπάρο, το γλέντι, τους καλεσμένους κι όλα. Ναι, ριζοσπαστικός ομόφυλος γάμος, αλλά το πανηγύρι πρέπει να γίνει σύμφωνα με τα έθιμα γιατί τι θα πει ο κόσμος.. Ας μάθουμε να σεβόμαστε τα θέλω του άλλου, να λέμε όχι στην καταπίεση των κοινωνικών "πρέπει" για τα μικρά καθημερινά, και τα μεγάλα θα έρθουν μόνα τους.
Profile Image for Tasha.
4,117 reviews108 followers
January 19, 2016
Two worms have fallen in love and decide to get married. They get lots of advice from other insects. Cricket offers to marry them. Beetle insists on being the "best beetle." The Bees want to be the bride's bees. Cricket tells them that they need rings for their fingers, but they don't have fingers so they wear the rings as belts. There has to be a band and a dance even though the worms don't dance, they just wiggle. Then come the clothes and the cake. But which worm is the bride and which is the groom?

Austrian has created a completely fabulous picture book. What starts as a look at weddings and marriage broadens to become about the ability to marry whomever we love. By the end, the gender of either worm stays completely ambiguous and all that matters is that they can be married to one another because they love each other. The message is simple and creatively shown. The gender-free worms are a perfect pick for the main characters, offering lots of personality without committing to either gender.

Curato's illustrations are wonderfully jolly. They capture the rather sanctimonious Cricket and the stuffy beetle with their conservative dress and attitudes. The merry bees are more friendly, but also help insist on a bride and groom. The worms themselves contrast with the others in their plainness and joy in one another. While they are unruffled by the rules of being married, their take on love wins in the end.

A celebration of the freedom to marry, this picture book is sure to cause a new stir among the same crowd bothered by And Tango Makes Three. Enjoy! Appropriate for ages 3-5.
899 reviews28 followers
April 8, 2019
This book is fabulous! I read it over and over before returning it to the library. It is a sweet illustrated children's book about a worm who marries another worm. Their friends have certain ideas about wedding traditions, but the worms are very clear about how they want their wedding to be and how their friends can support them in creating that experience, and ultimately the most important thing is that they love each other and their community is there for them. How perfect is that? I want to hug this book forever. :-)
Profile Image for Sarah Ahiers.
Author 3 books372 followers
January 19, 2016
Worm loves worm.
They decide to be married. But one of them must be the groom and one must be the bride because that's the way it's always been done, right? But maybe this time, they can just change how things have always been done.

This picture book is delightful. It's sparse and lovely and a wonderful tool to simply explain marriage equality. A great addition to any collection.
Profile Image for Jo.
42 reviews3 followers
February 5, 2016
Worm Loves Worm is a simple, cute book about two worms who want to get married. Worm and Worm want to marry because they love each other, and when their friends try to make things more complicated than they should be by introducing traditional wedding ideals like the need for a bride and a groom, they decide that the way things have always been done is not always the right way.
Profile Image for Tina.
727 reviews18 followers
September 22, 2015
This one is super cute. The worms are pulled into all the frippery of a wedding by their friends, when all they want is each other. Asexual fun and some very interesting friends (I don't trust that spider guy!) make this adorable.
Profile Image for Scott.
686 reviews85 followers
July 14, 2017
This picture book is about gender non-binary love, but it seemed to be more about the deplorable commercialism of the wedding industry.

Cute, but the whole time I was hoping something would cut the worms in half so they could be polyamorous.
Profile Image for Cat.
425 reviews14 followers
January 16, 2016
I feel like this book was written for adults. I don't know if kids would get it really.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
2,038 reviews52 followers
February 8, 2016
Here is the perfect treat for Valentine's Day! It is a delightful book about how love can arrive in all different forms and so can marriage!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 458 reviews

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