Children’s author Larissa McConnell on ‘Winston the Worm’ and the Power of Reading

As a young girl I was actually not the biggest reader… I was always enchanted by the outdoors; making mystical forts in lands far away and conquering empires with whoever my gallant side-kick (usually my poor younger brother or soft toy) happened to be that day. When I found that reading could transport me in a similar way, well, it is safe to say this young girl was hooked.


Finding a connection with words to your life, your dreams, or your underlying fears is the most magical thing for a child. It can provide hope, an outlet, or perhaps even an escape, but the outcome remains somewhat the same – inclusion in a world that perhaps does not exist; but changes you as if it does.


My children’s book Winston the Worm began as an idea given to me by a patient’s son. I work as a nurse in a large hospital and I meet many people in my day-to-day processes. This young boy visiting his mother was legally blind, and adored nothing more than having books read aloud to him in sweeping character tones and high-pitched voices.

This boy inspired me.


Winston the Worm is the tale of a worm who struggles with his lack of sight. Winston’s friends all have two perfect eyes, and see a world of amazement unfurling before them during playtime. Winston feels betrayed by his lack of vision; as though he is perhaps missing out on a world of beauty and splendor. Through hope, and perhaps a bit of literary magic, Winston is soon able to see like his friends. However, Winston’s journey to sight and what it means for him is not as idyllic as he had imagined.


My book was inspired by hope, which is aims to deliver back to the reader. To anyone whose vision may be skewed from time to time, and to all those who need a bit of magic in their life.



Larissa McConnell is based in Melbourne, Australia. She is a creative writer and poet, and dedicates her time to helping others. You can purchase Winston the Worm via Blurb at http://www.blurb.com/b/6453177-winston-the-worm.