Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Small Readers: Snail and Worm by Tina Kugler

This is one of those quirky easy readers that I don't, personally, get the humor of but which reviewers generally love.

The first story features Snail with some new friends - a stick and a rock. Worm shows up and is introduced to "Bob" and "Ann" but gets a surprise when she asks Snail to play... The second story shows Worm encouraging Snail to follow her dreams and climb a tall flower. In the third story, Snail and Worm meet each other's pets, a dog and a spider, but which is which?

The stories are clever, but rely on a more subtle humor than I like to see in easy readers. I find that most kids can't concentrate on picking up more subtle cues in the art and text when they're trying to decode the language. I also felt that the endings of the three stories fell a little flat - they seemed like they needed something more.

I did love the illustrations. Cheerful greens picked out with red, brown, yellow and pink spread across the pages, showing Snail and Worm's miniature world. I liked the details of lines, they gave the book a cozy, friendly look.

Verdict: This isn't a really bad book; it's quite good, especially for a first effort, and I'd be happy to add it to my collection and use it in book club. It didn't wow me, but I did enjoy it. Kids who like understated humor and more classic easy readers will probably pick this one off the shelf.

ISBN: 9780544494121; Published 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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