Arthur and the Earthworms

Author: Johanne Mercier
Illustrator: Clare Elsom
Translator: Daniel Hahn

Age: 5 - 8 / Early Readers
RRP: £4.99
ISBN: 9781907912177
Publication Date: 01-02-2013
Format: Pb, 198 x 130mm
Extent: 48 pages

I'm Arthur, and I'm seven.

I’m Arthur and I’m seven, and starting tomorrow I’ve got a new job: I’m going to be selling earthworms. I started getting interested in worms because of my duck. He lives at my grandparents’ house and worms are his favourite food. When I really want to give him a treat, we go worm-hunting together. It rained a lot on Sunday, so we found hundreds! This gave my grandfather an idea...

Arthur is a seven-year-old boy who is brilliant at being a seven-year-old-boy. When Arthur visits his grandparents’ house by the lake, more often than not, he becomes entangled in a new adventure, which he must solve with the help of his pet duck and useless dog – and hopefully without too much help from eccentric Cousin Eugene. These are witty stories full of understated humour and populated by quirky yet recognisable characters, and narrated by Arthur who has the rational worldview that comes exclusively from being seven-years-old.



Series reviews:

A great little series for newly independent readers. Short and simple, yet engaging and fun, this is a perfect series for children to try to attempt on their own. The illustrations help break the text and help set the humorous atmosphere.   Arthur is a loveable and quirky character who will appeal to both boys and girls.

Library Mice

Mercier’s warm and reassuring series about a boy who’s brilliant at, well, being a little boy of seven who loves his family and sharing his adventures is proving a popular choice for early readers. Full of understated humour which is so appealing to growing boys. With bold, lovable characters and stories to enchant and entertain, all brought to life by Clare Elsom’s quirky illustrations, the witty, wonderful adventures of Arthur and his merry ménage are set to run a lot longer than Arthur’s mad dash from the wild Witch of Picket Lake!

Lancashire Evening Post


Reviews of Arthur and the Earthworms

Arthur's grandfather has an idea when Arthur finds hundreds of earthworms for his pet duck. There must be plenty of people willing to buy earthworms and so the scheme is hatched! The stories are full of amusing pictures and these, combined with the quirky yet highly credible characters, give guaranteed appeal to young readers. Great to read aloud too and adults will enjoy the humour. They are just that little bit different and stand out from many other books for this age group.
Parents in Touch
This is a gentle, engaging read with nicely quirky characters, This is a story remarkable for its ordinariness – no spaceships or pirates or dinosaurs in underpants; just an old-fashioned tale about a boy told with great humour and charm.

The simple black and white illustrations are wonderful and add immensely to the enjoyment of the book. With short chapters and several illustrations breaking up the text, the book should suit newly confident readers who enjoy a straightforward and amusing tale.

Innis Magazine (Children's Books Ireland)

 Arthur is seven so the book is going to appeal primarily to boys in the five to seven age group and I was delighted to see this ... It's a lovely story with some delightful interaction between Arthur's grandparents - Grandma is a lot more savvy than Grandad gives her credit for - and some real tension as Arthur tries to get all the worms together to fulfil his big order.

The read length - 36 pages - is sufficient for the young reader to have the pleasure of 'getting a book under his belt' without it being too daunting a task. The pages are broken up by plenty of illustrations, some of them a full page and with a stunning white-on-black double page spread. They're not just a treat to look at - they also give some useful tips as to what those difficult longer words might be.

The Bookbag

Full of understated humour which is so appealing to growing boys, Arthur narrates his own stories and brings the straightforward, rational world view that comes from being only seven ... Brought to life by Clare Elsom’s quirky illustrations, the witty, wonderful adventures of Arthur and his merry ménage look set to run and run.

Lancashire Evening Post

Arthur is the most brilliantly created seven year old boy, full of a sense of adventure and curious too. Charmingly written, excellently translated and cleverly illustrated. Stories for boys and girls to enjoy with four more titles due in 2013. Well done Phoenix Yard books for taking on some brilliant foreign language fiction and translating it for us all to enjoy.

Armadillo Magazine

These two stories {Arthur and the Mystery of the Egg and Arthur and the Earthworms} are ideal for reading aloud or as early 'read alone' books for the younger child of six to eight or thereabouts. A set of strong family relationships lies at the heart of witty tales with a twist that children will want to hear again.  With more titles in the pipeline, this is a promising series with lively illustations by Clare Elsom and welcome information on the author, translator and illustrator at the back of each book.

The School Librarian

About the Author, Illustrator and Translator

Johanne Mercier is the author of a number of very successful books for children, both novels and picture books as well as the Arthur series. She lives in Quebec.

Daniel Hahn is an award-winning writer, researcher and translator and editor of The Ultimate Book Guide, The Ultimate First Book Guide and The Ultimate Teen Book Guide. His translations include Brazilian footballer Pelé's autobiography and Angolan writer José Eduardo Agalusa's The Book of Chameleons, winner of the 2007 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and Happiness is a Watermelon on Your Head, also published by Phoenix Yard Books. He is assistant editor of The Oxford Companion to English Literature and currently compiling a new Oxford Companion to Children's Literature.

Clare Elsom grew up in Oxford. She's always loved drawing and took a degree in illustration at University College Falmouth. She now works full time as an illustrator, and particularly enjoyed drawing Arthur. 'Drawing him came very naturally to me', she says, 'It's almost like he was already in my head, waiting for me to read the story and bring his image to life. I'm also slightly envious of his pet duck. Well, who wouldn't want a pet duck?!'

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