J.J. Austrian’s Worm Loves Worm (2016)

Worm Loves Worm (2016), written by J.J. Austrian and illustrated by Mike Curato, is a straightforward story about two worms who fall in love and want to be married.

Their insect and arachnid friends demand they jump through all the traditional hoops, including getting rings even though they don’t have fingers and getting a cake even though they only eat dirt.

They go along with everything until it comes to choosing who will wear the white wedding dress and who will where the tuxedo. They queer gender expectations when one wears the dress with a top hat and the other wears the tuxedo with a veil.

The text and illustrations are easy to follow, and a couple of giggle-worthy jokes are sprinkled throughout. It’s a good introduction to nonbinary gender and inclusive marriage for very young readers.

This review is part of my “Snapshots of LGBTQ Kid Lit” project. I’m working on a book, The New Queer Children’s Literature: Exploring the Principles and Politics of LGBTQ* Children’s Picture Books, which is under contract with the University Press of Mississippi. Part of my research is identifying and interpreting English-language children’s picture books with LGBTQ* content published in the US and Canada between 1979 and 2019. Follow my blog to follow my journey!

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