Ruby the Red Worm

Stories about the making of our book, Ruby the Red Worm’s Dirty Job. Part of the Make-A-Book Project. Synopsis: Ruby the Red Worm is a humorous and educational introduction to composting and the essential role worms serve in the ecosystem. More importantly, it is a story about living a life of passion despite life’s bullies — even if it means eating dirt.

Book signing celebration
How we make stuff

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.

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Ruby the Red Worms Dirty Job book cover in front of a beautiful garden.
How we make stuff

Cover Design Challenges

The new book, Ruby the Red Worm, is finally here! Perhaps no one is more surprised how beautiful it is then me, especially the cover!

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A aerial view of my message. It could read "We ♥ worms" or "We heart worms" or "We love worms."
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We ❤ Worms

School playground photo of “We ❤ worms”. I’m very surprised this picture turned out so great! Another one of my personal favorites. And a giant framed photo will soon be hanging in the school office until the end of times.

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Students examining some red worms up close.
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Collateral worm book projects

While I was producing the final book, the students continued exploring some related projects. Pictured here is Mrs. Lambert’s class examining some red worms up close.

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Sorting the illustrations
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Choosing drawings for the new book

After working with the elementary students for 6 days, I got approximately 1000 drawings to choose from. So, being more of the right-brained-artistic type, it is a major organizational challenge.

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A colorful sign with bugs and a voting box and ballots.
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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.

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Illustration ideas by subject
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Thinking outside the words

I continue to learn how to work with the various ways kids learn and create. Some students prefer to illustrate an actual sentence from the book, which requires a more literal interpretation; while other students prefer a more conceptual approach.

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Scott Stoll hands out pages with excerpts from his book, “Ruby the Red Worm’s Dirty Job,” to students at the Waukesha STEM Academy’s Randall Campus this week. Students are drawing illustrations for the book. Photo by Wentz-Graff, Milwaukee Journal
How we make stuff

Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel article

World traveler came home to fulfillment. This is a great story about my trip around the world, coming home, and how this all evolved into working with local schools to illustrate children’s books.

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Teachers dressed as their favorite storybook character IMG 1889
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Storybook Parade

During my visit, which was Reading Week, one of the teachers organized a Storybook Parade, where all the teachers dressed as their favorite storybook character and paraded through the hallways.

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Students examine red worms and compost bin
How we make stuff

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.

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