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Worm Loves 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. This irresistible picture book is a celebration of love in all its splendid forms.

       "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...Curato's pencil-and-Photoshop illustrations use white backgrounds to great effect, keeping the characters front and center. As in life, love conquers all.Kirkus


       "How do you explain a revolution to a young audience? This book is a terrific start...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.Publishers Weekly


"This timely title is a warm and easy way to introduce the idea of same-sex marriage to children... Many children will grasp the larger message—marriage is about love—while others may simply enjoy the warm characters and comical story." Booklist


"The story is nicely paced and can be a great way to introduce children to what might happen at a wedding. Most important, though, are the subtle yet effective messages of what’s important when two individuals decide to wed. VERDICT With its cute critters, sweet story, and messages of equality, this is a first purchase that celebrates the fact that love always wins."

School Library Journal


" J. J. Austrian and Mike ­Curato’s Worm Loves Worm, in which two worms of the hermaphroditic variety fall in love, brilliantly explores the idea of love between two beings, regardless of gender (or species) and despite societal ­pressures. Curato’s spare but sure silhouetted images and Austrian’s straightforward text are a perfect match to deliver the simple story of two characters who just want to declare their love and commit to each other. The New York Times


"Pencil and photoshop art pops off bright white pages, making the ridiculous seem plausible as gender roles blur, traditions flex, and love conquers all." The San Francisco Chronicle


You can read more about my personal thoughts and experiences regarding Worm Loves Worm on my blog. Click here to read about the book release and why this book is so important to me. Click here to read about some resistance I have faced for creating this book, and about the work that still needs to be done.

J.J. and I talk with Matthew C. Winner about Pants-of-the-Month, having conversations with children through children's books, and the impact of two worms falling in love.

Winner 2017 Minnesota Book Award

for Children's Literature

The Friends of the Saint Paul Library

2017 Charlotte Huck Honor

National Council of Teachers of English

2017 Rainbow Book List

GLBT Round Table,

The American Library Association

The Best Children's Books of 2017

Bank Street College of Education

The Best Books of 2016

2016 Best Books of the Year So Far

Honorable Mention for "Most Heartwarming"

Best Picture Books of 2016

Huffington Post

100 Best Books of 2016
New York Public Library

Check out Worm Loves Worm's feature on All the Wonders for a podcast, book review, behind the scenes look, and more!

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