Review Blog

Feb 27 2013

Snap! by Janet A Holmes and Daniela Germain

cover image

Little Hare Books, (Feb) 2013. ISBN 9781 921714 99 3
(Age: 4+) Warmly recommended. Picture book. Fear. Overcoming adversity. Going to school for the first time can be very daunting, and the hero of this book decides that if there are monsters, then he will be one too, and scare them away. He dons his jeans, t-shirt, socks and shoes, and puts his crocodile face on. He is left at the place and snaps at everything he sees. He snaps at the other monsters, the toys, the cake. He snaps when a story is read, and even when he runs outside, the monsters are still there. Sitting on a log he finds a smaller monster sits near him, drawing. Eventually they move closer to each other, and he finds she has drawn a monkey face which she allows him to put on his face. And so the two play together for the rest of the day, until it is time to go home.
Children will love following the seemingly simple tale of the boy finding his feet in a new place, of finding a companion, a friend in this unknown place, of overcoming his fear of the strange and unusual. They will follow his story with interest as they find the monsters in the background, hiding in the grey forest, watching the forest thin out to a few green, leafy trees as his fears lessen. Many children will be able to relate stories of times they have been scared of a new encounter or a new place and so share in the boy's dilemma, adding another level of response. Many children will be able to relate to the idea of hiding behind a mask, and so will pull out, Sendak's Where the wild things are, to add to the reading. Teachers and parents will extend the story of the book into a craft session, where masks are made and worn.
The illustrations are an integral part of the story, again adding another level of interest and intrigue. Many children will take up the challenge of recreating a collage picture of their own, emulating the style used in the book.
Fran Knight

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