An interest in worms and digging in the dirt helps a little girl make a friend at school.
As the book opens, a multicultural cast of children pairs off to enjoy various playground activities. After seeing three such pairings, it’s notable that African-American Bree is “playing by herself.” She digs in the dirt until she finds a worm, and at first glance, it seems that this is the friend mentioned in the title. Happily, such an anticlimactic resolution does not emerge. Instead, another, older, Caucasian girl hiding behind a nearby tree observes Bree playing with the worm and approaches her to play, too. The brightly colored, saturated illustrations feature rounded figures that seem like they would be at home in television animation, but they fail to elevate the text to read-it-again status since the story doesn’t build too much of a plot. The children bond while playing in the dirt, unearthing other worms to make up a family and collecting them all in a bucket. When playtime is over, the girls go hand in hand into the school, with plans to return to their play later. (The likely end for the poor worms goes unexplored.)
Not a lot to dig into here, but it’s an inclusive depiction of children at play. (Picture book. 3-5)