by Judy Newman with Cristy Bertini and Alana Pedalino
Our modern lives are driven by metrics and measurements. Bank account balances, social media followers, book sales, open rates, salaries, grades, calories, steps taken.
It is easy to measure most physical things. We have the tools for the task—rulers, scales, compasses, speedometers, gauges, you name it. But how do you measure things that are so vast, like the number of stars or grains of sand on a beach? It’s almost impossible.
The clever inchworm in the classic picture book Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni is faced with a similar dilemma: How do you measure a song? He can measure anything from a robin’s tail to a toucan’s beak using the length of his body, but when a hungry nightingale threatens to eat him for breakfast unless he can measure its song, the inchworm has to think quickly to outsmart the bird. Fortunately, the worm does manage to inch his way out of trouble in this Scholastic Book Clubs Book of the Week.
Leo Lionni used the collage method of illustration often in his books, and he didn’t start writing children’s books until later in life. He recalled in his memoir, Between Worlds, that he was attempting to entertain his young grandchildren on a long train ride (I know the feeling!), and out of desperation, he ripped color circles out of a nearby magazine to use in telling them a story—and that story inspired his first picture book, Little Blue and Little Yellow, published in 1959, and he used the same collage method for Inch by Inch in 1960.
“Arresting, original, and imaginative.” —Booklist
“The lovely colors, the sharp definition of cutouts against white space, the rhythm of the composition, and the simplicity of the whole make a handsome and appropriate book to give pleasure to little children and their elders.” —The Horn Book
David Vozar doesn’t want to open a can of worms, and he sure doesn’t want them falling on his head!
We’ve created some teacher-approved resources to help you share Inch by Inch with your students:
• Watch the Book Boys (in costume!) in a classroom-friendly video about Inch by Inch
• Learn about Leo Lionni’s legacy in Behind the Scenes
• Watch a video interview with four first grade teachers in Book Talks
• Download a printable activity to accompany Inch by Inch in Cooked Up from a Book
I hope your students love reading Inch by Inch and that they learn this lesson: No matter how big or how small you are, everyone has a special talent…and the singing bird doesn’t always get the worm.
This Book Is Available from Scholastic Book Clubs