The Best Father's Day Present Ever

Overview

Father's Day is tomorrow, and Langley Snail is ready. This year, he finally gets an allowance, so there'll be no more disastrous homemade presents for his dad. All of Langley's friends are off to the store to buy their dads the latest gadgets, but by the time he catches up, it's closed (he is a snail, after all). Now what will he do?

Luckily, the long trip home opens Langley's eyes to what just might be the best Father's Day present ...

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Overview

Father's Day is tomorrow, and Langley Snail is ready. This year, he finally gets an allowance, so there'll be no more disastrous homemade presents for his dad. All of Langley's friends are off to the store to buy their dads the latest gadgets, but by the time he catches up, it's closed (he is a snail, after all). Now what will he do?

Luckily, the long trip home opens Langley's eyes to what just might be the best Father's Day present ever—something better than any gift money can buy.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Debbie Levy
The bland title might mislead some readers into thinking this is just a sweet little Father's Day story, but it is so much better than sweet. Yes, there is a familiar lesson in this story about a little snail who wants to buy his father the perfect Father's Day gift, only to learn that doing things together can be better than any gift money can buy. But it is told with such freshness that it feels brand new and decidedly un-lesson-like. By the time Langley, a young snail, gets to the store where all the other kids are buying their Father's Day gifts, it is closed. (He races to get there, but even so, he can only go at a snail's pace.) Disappointed but not defeated, Langley gives his dad the gift of a special father-son walk, and it turns out to be the best Father's Day present ever. A simple premise, but success—and interest to children of varying ages—is all in the humorous details of the text and crisp, lively illustrations. Readers will enjoy the descriptions and pictures of the store-bought gifts the other kids score for their dads, such as the "Amazing Auto-Select-Sports-Only Remote Control" and the "Super-Duper-Golf-O-Matic-Home-Ball-Washer." Other pages reveal delightful, more subtle details, such as little breakfast sweet rolls that are shaped just like the snails' bodies, or the flashback to the time Langley gave his father a homemade painting that his father looked at admiringly even though he was holding it upside down. By mixing attitude, laugh-out-loud humor, and sweetness, Loomis and Paparone have crafted a book with wide appeal. The publisher's web site categorizes this as a book for children under five years, which is unfortunate, as the book seems pitched toa broader audience.
Kirkus Reviews
It's the day before Father's Day and Langley the snail still has not thought of the perfect gift. His mother reminds him, yet again, that Dad doesn't care about expense; he would love anything Langley makes. But remembrances of previous years' homemade gifts stifle his creativity. So, when Buster Squirrel invites him to Mister Pocket's store, Langley leaps at the opportunity. Well, leaps may be a little strong-he is a snail after all. And in fact, he's so slow that his friends not only lap him with their fantastical gifts, but the store closes! All is for the best, though, as he imagines the perfect gift on his "snail's pace" walk home: an invitation to a Father-Son walk through nature. Paparone's pen, ink and watercolor artwork rounds out the text nicely, adding details and wonderfully illustrating facial expression. Humorous details will keep readers in stitches; the story opens with Langley perusing the newspaper ads atop the toilet, for instance. Would that every father could receive as wonderful a present on Father's Day. (Picture book. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399242533
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/22/2007
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.36 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Meet the Author

Christine Loomis lives in Lafayette, Colorado.

Pam Paparone lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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