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BOB AND OTTO were two very good friends who looked prettymuch alike
and loved to do pretty much the same things... like digging in the ground,
playing in the grass, and eating the leaves that fell from the old tree.

Then one day everything changed...

Well, almost everything!

The Bruels explore the transformative power of friendship in this clever tale of a worm and a caterpillar. All spring, Bob and Otto explore, dig, play and eat leaves, until suddenly Bob gets the urge to climb a tree. Otto tries to talk him out of it, but Bob must go. Ahorizontal page-split then chronicles the activities of the two friends: Bob climbs, eats, sleeps and flies, while Otto digs. Eventually, the bonds of friendship pull the two back together. Feeling like a lowly worm, Otto chastises himself for just digging. But Bob’s perspective is quite different; he appreciates his friend fornourishing the tree so he could become a butterfly. “You’re not just a worm. You’re my best friend.” Brilliantly colored illustrations manage to convey energy and motion even though caterpillars and worms are not known for either. Just the right mix of worm’s-eye view and big picture allows children to see that even small actions have an impact. Illustrated and published posthumously by Robert’s son, Nick, this is a charming tribute to friendship and the stories all parents tell their children.

••• Kirkus Reviews
March 1, 2007

March 15, 2007 issue of Booklist

Worms Bob and Otto are good friends who resemble each other except for Bob's stripes. They do the same things until the day Bob needs to climb a tree, and Otto needs to wiggle into the ground. In split pages, Bob eats leaves; Otto digs. Bob sleeps for many days and nights; Otto digs and digs some more. The sturdy artwork, which mixes colors earthy and bright, shows Bob turning into a green sack as he sleeps. Finally he awakens and feels like flying; no wonder, since he's now a butterfly. On the ground, Otto is feeling sad. If he had climbed the tree he could have grown wings, too. But Bob informs him that while he was eating, sleeping, and flying, Otto's digging lossened the soil so the tree roots could drink water and grow tall with green leaves--which allowed him to "grow wings." Savvy kids will know that the "striped" worm is a caterpillar while the plain worm is--a worm. Cocoonlike, the nature lesson is wrapped inside a friendship story. Preschoolers will dig it.
--Julie Cummins