Darwin’s Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular

Darwin's Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular cover
Darwin’s Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular by Polly Owen

By Polly Owen
Illustrated by Gwen Millward
Wide Eyed Editions / Quarto, 2023
32 pages

Ages 4–8

Charles Darwin’s belief that worms were amazing contributors to the natural world was not shared by the public, who considered them nothing more than garden pests. Determined to prove his opinion scientifically, Darwin tested worms’ vision, learning they didn’t have eyes but used sensors in their skin to detect light. He went on to examine their hearing, smell, and taste using methodologies that evolved with each failed attempt until he hit on a viable approach. His results underwhelmed his peers until he reported that the soil aeration caused by worms’ underground movement and the nutritive value of their poop “acts as a plant super-booster.” An energetic, light-hearted text paired with humorous illustrations that make effective use of dialogue bubbles document Darwin’s 40-year study of earthworms that culminated in the publication of his book The Formation of Vegetable Mould Through the Action of Worms, a bestseller of its time. ©2024 Cooperative Children’s Book Center