Cover image for A bird and his worm
A bird and his worm
Kaczman, James.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Houghton Mifflin Company, [2002]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 24 x 28 cm
A bird who doesn't like to flap his wings and the worm he has befriended learn the dangers of trusting strangers as they travel south together for the winter.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.6 0.5 65843.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

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In a beautiful, green valley somewhere in the North, there once was a bird who did not fly.This bird preferred to walk.All the other birds thought his behavior was very odd, so he led a fairly solitary existence.That is, until he befriends an extremely affable worm who joins him on his journey south in search of warmer weather.A lot of people might think it strange for a nonflying bird and a sociable worm to be friends, but that's exactly what happens in this unusual story about the power of friendship, the sway of charm, and the importance of having a good Plan B.

Author Notes

James Kaczman received a bachelor of fine arts degree from Massachusetts College of Art in 1982 and also studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He lives in a beautiful, green valley somewhere in the North, where he is a full-time illustrator. He resides there with his wife, Libby, his son, Henry, and a wire fox terrier named Chauncey, who is a funny, charming fellow.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

PreS^-Gr.2. The bird in this tale doesn't fly, he prefers to walk; the other birds think him quite odd. He befriends a worm who fears him, but the bird notes, "You are slimy and squishy. I find you completely unappetizing." The duo becomes friends, and when it's time for the bird to head South for the winter, bird and worm hitch a ride on the back of a fox. The fox figures that they are lunch; however he is so delighted by their conversation that he lets them go. A ride on a snake proves less lucky, even though they inform him they are "charming funny fellows." Finally they escape and do fly South--on an airplane. This text gets most of its punch from the bird's commentary, although it might have been nice for readers to get at least a smidge of the conversation that so endeared him and the worm to the fox. Kaczman mixes geometric and rolling shapes and splashes them with sunny, verdant color to make his winsome and offbeat story shine. --GraceAnne A. DeCandido

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this chirpy picture book, Kaczman incorporates the geometric shapes and pleasingly flat colors used in his debut, When a Line Bends... A Shape Begins, to craft an original if familiar-feeling fable about a bird of a different feather. The titular bird would rather walk than fly ("I don't really have anything against flying,... but I love walking around... and besides, I don't like to flap my wings") and prefers seeds to live foodstuffs. Kaczman shows him explaining himself to a quartet of winged fellows (they think, "He is very odd"). The bird then befriends a talkative worm. The chatty pair enjoy their daily walkabouts until winter begins its approach, and the duo hatch a plan to head south on the back of a sly fox. Luckily, the fox can't eat his prey as originally intended because he's come to know them as "charming, funny fellows," but their next lift, a snake, is not charmed by them. Luckily again, they discover a more modern mode of transportation. Kaczman's text clips along as the very social bird and worm make plentiful conversation. His boldly outlined ink-and-watercolor compositions in a crisp palette of mustard yellow, burnt orange and cornflower blue emit a sunny vibe that, together with his triangular shapes and half circles, suggests a kind of preschool fantasy land. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-In this fablelike story, a bird that only eats seeds and berries and does not fly befriends a worm. The two begin walking south for the winter and meet up with a fox. He gives them a ride on his back, with the intent of eating them, but changes his mind. When he leaves, he warns them against accepting rides from foxes, and they ask a snake to carry them. After he tries to eat them, they realize that it is not safe to ask strangers for rides, and the bird and worm walk to an airport and fly to their destination in an airplane. This book addresses an important safety issue. The bird and worm think that they are charming and clever, and that no one will hurt them, but their foolishness nearly costs them their lives. While the message is important, the text is slightly didactic and the ending seems a bit rushed. The ink-and-watercolor illustrations are stronger than the text, and Kaczman succeeds at creating interesting characters; the bird is formed out of basic shapes and the elongated fox and snake are threatening, conniving creatures. The colors are lush and vibrant, and objects are outlined in black; curving lines depict movement and energy throughout the mostly full-page spreads. While the illustrations will have appeal, this isn't a first purchase.-Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.