Book Review: “There’s a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm’s Story” by Gary Larson

larson-hair-in-my-dirtAs environmental educators, we have a dual role of fostering an appreciation for the natural world in others while teaching them to understand and respect the laws of nature. All creatures, great and small have a niche to fill in their native ecosystems. That’s why sometimes we need to step back and let nature run its course, even if, for instance, a seemingly defenseless mouse is about to get swallowed up by a snake. It’s not our place to intervene. Gary Larson, author of the satirical comic “The Far Side,” presents a fairly accurate and funny depiction of the ways of the world through the eyes of an earthworm in a storybook format called “There’s a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm’s Story.”

Now, I won’t go into too many of the gory details, but when you mix Gary Larson’s sense of humor and what most people see when they look at nature, you get a hilarious and incredibly easy to understand sense of the world. One of Larson’s especially clever interpretations in this book is of the Gray Squirrel. He describes these cute and furry rodents to be fairly innocuous to humans. They are typically viewed by many as nothing more than an occasional annoyance when they attempt suicide by crossing roads in front of cars. However, Larson includes, Gray Squirrels have been introduced to the UK and are currently displacing the native Red Squirrel populations. Similarly, while they are native to Eastern and Midwestern United States, they currently have very few predators and have started to displace other native squirrel species in our own backyards!

Larson takes a series of these types of situations and brings to light what is truly happening all around us beyond the warm and fuzzy view of nature.  The integrity of Larson’s message is held up throughout this humorous tale. So if you want to know what is really happening when we see fireflies at night, or why we wash our hands after touching animals outside, this book is a superb addition to your collection.

For more info on the book:

A good in-depth book review and synopsis – http://ekostories.com/2012/05/26/larson-hair-in-my-dirt/

Paperback: 64 pages

Publisher: Harper Perennial; First Edition (October 6, 1999)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0060932740

ISBN-13: 978-0060932749

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