Book Review: Nouzha Evan’s Children’s Book

Cooper the Compost Worm, the Butterflies are Teasing Me, by Nouzha Evans, is a refreshing children’s book sending a strong message that we all have a purpose in life. This is a must read book it would be an ideal fixture in a variety of settings: homes, pediatric reception rooms, classrooms, libraries, and environmental organizations.

The main character of the book, Cooper, is a compost worm, or a worm whose diet consists of food scraps. Cooper seeks the advice of his father, mother, and grandpa, complaining that the garden caterpillars and butterflies make fun of him.

The quote that resonates strongly, and is decisively reminiscent of Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull, is “We are worms, and we will always be worms.” Cooper’s mother is trying to tell him that we should be satisfied with who we are. In a unique and innovative manner, Evans succeeds in helping the environment and making kids understand that we are what we are for a reason, and no matter how hard we try to be like someone else, it’s in our best interest to be ourselves.

What’s intriguing about this book is that it’s a byproduct of collaboration between Evans, a director of an educational and environmental program, and her students. In fact, the setting of the book is a depiction of their school garden. Conceptually unique, this book stands alone by having children actually take part in the compilation of a book for children and in creating the characters of the story.

Ultimately, the take-home message is to understand that even those organisms that seem to be insignificant and irrelevant to daily life, indeed serve a purpose. In this case, Cooper does what even the most beautiful butterfly cannot do: he makes sure that both the garden and the butterflies remain healthy. Find out more at

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