October 20, 2015
There’s a Hair in My Dirt by Gary Larson
Don’t be fooled by the cover. This may look like a picture book but it is not for the picture book crowd. Who is it for? Tweens up.
Little Worm pitches a fit when he finds a hair in his dirt because the dirt is, after all, his dinner. He’s had it. Worms are the lowest of the low. They eat dirt morning, noon, and night. And he’s had it.
Father Worm is sure that Little Worm will change his mind if he will just listen to Father’s story. What appears to be a long, ramgling yarn is actually a story about the interconnectedness of nature, an insider’s look at what nature is really all about (flowers? all about sex), and just how clueless people tend to be about the web of life and their part in it. The “star” of Father’s story is a princess who comes into play again in the end.
I don’t want to go into a lot of detail because this is definitely one you need to read for yourself. It is a delightful combination of fantasy (hello! Talking worms) and fact (grey squirrels being an invasive species). Although this is a book written for adults, I think it is adults who will have the greatest problem accepting this combination of flip humor and science fact.
Who will this book appeal to? Larson is the cartoonist behind the Far Side. If you are or were a fan, pick up There’s a Hair in My Dirt. If you love science but aren’t afraid of sarcastic, goof ball humor, this is the book for you. And if you’re a little brainy and love a good laugh, again, pick this book up.
The reader who recommended it to me is a high school teacher who brings the book in for her biology classes. This is definitely teen humor — it is off beat and a bit gross at one point but it is fact and it is nature and it is a hoot.