As The Worm Turns
— Christopher Jackson (@revcjackson) February 2, 2016
Austrian and Curato turn the simple wedding of two worms into a three-ring circus that slyly turns the whole controversy over same-sex versus heterosexual marriage on its head.
“Worm loves Worm. ‘Let’s be married,’ says Worm to Worm. ‘Yes!’ answers Worm. ‘Let’s be married.’ ” Seems simple to the two worms but not to the other woodland critters. Cricket insists on officiating. “That’s how it’s always been done” is his oft-repeated refrain. Beetle wants to be the best beetle, the Bees want to be the bride’s bees, the worms must wear rings, and they need a band to dance to, flowers, and a cake. The intendeds solve all these issues as well as the question of who’s the bride, who’s the groom. “ ‘I can be the bride,’ says Worm. ‘I can, too,’ says Worm.” They both are also the groom. One wears a veil, bow tie, gold ring, and black trousers; the other sports a top hat, gold ring, and flouncy white skirt. The wedding party is in awe, save uptight Cricket. “ ‘We’ll just change how it’s done,’ says Worm.” And so they do, and they are married at last…“because Worm loves Worm.” Curato’s pencil-and-Photoshop illustrations use white backgrounds to great effect, keeping the characters front and center. The two worms are differentiated only by their eyes: one has black dots, and the other has white around the black dots.
As in life, love conquers all
How do you explain a revolution to a young audience? This book is a terrific start. … Then their friends make one more demand: there can only be one bride and one groom: that’s “how it’s always been done.” And that’s when the worms show they have a spine. “We can be both,” they insist, mixing and matching veils, tuxes, dresses, and top hats. “We’ll just change how it’s done.” Debut author Austrian proves that it’s possible to be silly and incisive at the same time, while Curato (the Little Elliot books) works in a stripped-down style that subtly reinforces the “all you need is love” message.
According to the image provided by the Tweeter, this new book is now on the shelves at the public library in rural Algoma, Wisconsin (pop. 3,167).