Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni

Inch by Inch is a story about a quick-witted inchworm who escapes a number of hungry birds by offering to measure various parts of their bodies — and even a nightingale’s song — in exchange for them not eating him up.

I’d never heard of an inchworm before reading this book, but it’s apparently the moth of a Geometer Moth and moves in a fashion that seems like it’s trying to measure its journey — and it’s conveniently about an inch long. This clever story thus uses the characteristics of the inchworm to introduce the idea of measurement — although it kind of presumes that you know what an inchworm is in the first place. Nonetheless, even without any background digging, the brilliant artwork, original story and subtle humour make the book a worthy read. Plus, who doesn’t love rooting for the cheeky underdog (or worm, as the case may be)?

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