This little worm really wants an apple.
Sadly, Toto is way down on the ground, and the apple hangs way up from a tree. What’s a worm to do? Spotting a bird flying nearby, Toto gets an idea. With the help of a stick decoy painted earthworm-pink, Toto tricks the bird and hitches a ride on its back. That apple is as good as Toto’s, it seems. Yet triumph is fleeting: the unlucky little worm ends up in the wrong tree. Even worse, the apple's now farther away than ever. Another idea pops up, however, when Toto sees a squirrel. By now, readers should know what to expect. Still, Lavoie’s sparse text unfurls the story at a lively pace, encouraging fast page turns while focusing on Toto’s actions. The book offers ample opportunities for readers to speculate on the action all the way through. Uncluttered gouache pictures full of open space and large, solid shapes also make this Québecois import an easygoing read. The star, of course, is Toto, who expresses boundless optimism via a pair of communicative eyes. After a few fruitless attempts, the plucky worm ends up right where it started. Soon, a young child obtains the coveted apple, dropping it carelessly when distracted by an airplane. “Toto knows that it’s now or never.” An unexpected ending reaches new levels of silliness.
A madcap miniodyssey sure to thrill readers. (Picture book. 3-8)