The Make-A-Book Project and author-in-residence program school photographs. Pictured here are all four of the aerial-view school photos. Kids standing in the shape of a bicycle, worm, butterfly and cupcake.
A colorful sign with bugs and a voting box and ballots.
The voting station. That's an old coffee can. Kid's could name their favorite bug, like centipede, spider, fly, et cetera.

Name that bug contest

One fun idea to get the students more involved in the production of the book was to have them name the characters in the story. So I, along with my self-appointed fan club, made this ballot box.

Character naming contest student helpers
Above is a polite group of girls naming their favorite bugs. Before them, the table was mobbed with students resulting in a mess of blurry pictures.
Character naming contest ballot box
Character naming contest ballot box. An old coffee can stuffed with over 1000 ballots!

The can was half full within 1.5 hours and by the end of the week, we had hundreds of votes. I think my personal favorite is Honeynester the Bee. We also had dozens of names, such as Worm the Fly and Snail the Butterfly. It’s interesting how the students seem to collectively decide to do such things without any leader.

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More stories about the making of this book

Book signing celebration

School book signing

The ice cream social and book signing celebration for “Ruby the Red Worm” drew over a 1000 people. It was one of the most overwhelming, amazing and fulfilling moments of my life to see the dreams of so many students coming to life.

Students examine red worms and compost bin

Worms eat my garbage

Your adventure, should you choose to accept it, is to build your own compost bin at home. This is a great way to recycle your scraps and reduce your eco-footprint.

Colorful Gummi worm cupcakes being served on a silver platter.

Gummi Worm Cupcakes

Here’s a very strange coincidence. Guess what!? “Dirt cupcakes” with grass and a gummi worm on top. Bizarre!

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