Review Blog

Oct 11 2016

Snail and Turtle: Rainy Days by Stephen Michael King

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Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760159061 (Ages: 3-6) Friendship. Stephen Michael King brings his distinctive style to this seemingly simple tale of friendship. Snail and Turtle are friends but it has been raining for days and days and Snail will not come out of his shell. Turtle tries performing Snail's favourite tricks, but to no avail. Therefore, Turtle works very hard to build Snail a lovely, warm shelter. Turtle's tenderness and patience with his friend is inspiring and the book carries a lovely message about being in tune with the feelings of others and thinking about how we can bring lightness to their lives. Turtle's smile is obvious the whole way through the story, as he remains optimistic that Snail will one day come out of his shell. As always, King's illustrations are playful, lovable and filled with symbolism. While this is a story with a deep undercurrent of depression and inescapable sadness, I feel like its symbolism may be lost on younger children who may think that Snail is refusing to come out of his shell because it is raining (thereby being confused because snails generally like the rain). While its theme may be appropriate for older children its simplicity makes it more suited to early childhood use. Nevertheless, this book will please fans of its predecessor, Snail and Turtle are friends, as well as those unfamiliar with the pair. Nicole Nelson

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