Sunday, June 25, 2017

Book Review: Worms for Breakfast (recipes for zoos and fun for kis)

Worms for Breakfast: How to feed a zoo, by Helaine Becker (OwlKids, 2016, 40 pages, $17.95, ages 7-10, grades 1-5)

The Subtitle Did It

The subtitle grabbed my attention more than the front cover did but then the sub-subtitle helped, too: “Real Recipes Included.”

I simply couldn’t imagine what was in store for the kids. I certainly hoped it was more personally enticing than the front cover, which showed a platypus (OK), worms (yuck), larva of some sort (yuck), and some crustaceans of some sort in a short low blue bowl (pan?).

This book was weird! (to me) But just the sort of book a young boy would love to show his mom pictures of while she is cooking dinner! (Let me warn you in advance. Prevent this: the kitchen is off-limits for Worms for Breakfast!)

We read every single page, countless times. Worms begins with Platypus Party Mix, as shown on the cover with two sets of question-puzzles even this Biology instructor couldn’t answer, and a glossary of definitions that are worded better than even I could do.

All the Animals

The entire animal kingdom is represented: from hungry hippos to flamingoes (white).

But it’s not only about food for the animals. Maybe your child, after reading this book, would like to become a zoo nutritionist or help raise baby foxes or leopards. Kids will learn about conservation, which animals are nocturnal, and about some of the myriad problems of captivity.


Enrichment is huge nowadays in zoos and aquariums and even in human homes that have pet dogs. Learn how to make a Predator Popsicle or Tiger Cupcake (and modify it for you canine). Learn how to put an elephant on a diet: that is sure to come in handy.

Did you know the Easter Bunny visits the Honolulu Zoo and primates have a Pumpkin Toss (and then eat their prizes, the pumpkins) in Tampa for Halloween?

Educational, too!

Each page is full of full-color photos to find gems in, plus the recipes and fun facts about bio-life.

Kids won’t be able to make all of these recipes at home (thank goodness they don’t have all these critters as pets) but why not help them scoop out an apple, make some holes in the sides, and insert a dozen or so mealworms – for the birds, of course!

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