Snail Boy: An Adventure in Slow Motion by Leslie McGuirk, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Snail Boy: An Adventure in Slow Motion

Snail Boy: An Adventure in Slow Motion

by Leslie McGuirk
     
 
In the colorful, quirky world of Leslie McGuirk, a pony-sized talking snail convinces the perfect boy to be his owner, and the pair builds a friendship strengthened by the differences between them.

When you’re a Gigantic Exotic Gastropod in full bloom, life can be pretty challenging. After all, there are plenty of Snail Catchers out there, not to

Overview

In the colorful, quirky world of Leslie McGuirk, a pony-sized talking snail convinces the perfect boy to be his owner, and the pair builds a friendship strengthened by the differences between them.

When you’re a Gigantic Exotic Gastropod in full bloom, life can be pretty challenging. After all, there are plenty of Snail Catchers out there, not to mention circuses and zookeepers eager to put you on display. But finding just the right owner can be tricky, despite your obvious assets: no fur that needs brushing, an impressive vocabulary, and being big enough to ride on - very slowly, of course. Is there anyone in this fast-paced world who might consider Snail to be the coolest pet around?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publishers Weekly
Snail is "a Gigantic Exotic Gastropod in full bloom." He resembles a cartoon dinosaur, albeit with pale gray skin and a pastel blue-and-green shell. Furthermore, Snail is "as big as a pony," but by his own reckoning he's "better looking, and much more interesting." Because of his enormous size and lack of speed, Snail worries that a cruel Snail Hunter will put him in a cage or, worse, a French restaurant. He goes in search of a child who can be his owner, and sets his mind on a skateboarding boy: " `I'll ask him,' said Snail, `because he's alone, like me.' " The boy is startled and skeptical at first, but Snail wins him over by giving him a ride and doing tricks ("I think talking is my best trick of all, though, don't you?" Snail asks politely). When it rains, Snail invites the boy under the cover of his shell, thus proving an eminently practical pet. McGuirk (Tucker Flips) relies on understatement to tell this absurdist tale; if not for his power of speech and his species, Snail would be no more exotic than an oafish Labrador retriever. The author's na ve ink-line drawings float in empty, undecorated fields of opaque color, and the tall pages appear too spacious for such simple contents. McGuirk's ingenuous characters and illustrations recall the quirky comedy of Neal Layton, while her amiable plot, in which an unusual animal yearns to become a pet, echoes last fall's more poignant That Pesky Rat by Lauren Child. Ages 3-7. (June) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Our snail hero is a "Gigantic Exotic Gastropod in full bloom," as big as a pony. Because he is rare, he hides from snail hunters during the day and has bad dreams at night. He decides he needs an owner. He thinks a boy he sees playing alone might be the right kind. It takes a bit of persuasion, but the boy finally agrees. Together they go to the pet store for collar, food, etc. The boy finds the snail shell a nice cozy place to talk during a rainstorm. The partnership is off to a happy start for both. Once the premise of the pony-size snail as pet is accepted, the simple tale can be enjoyed for its sly humor, its cartoon-y visualization with comic turns. Rather simple ink line drawings painted in gouache are set on a different color for each page. The mixture of full-page close-ups with others displaying multiple actions helps keep the story inching along. The end papers' small portraits of animals labeled either "fast" or "slow" are a bonus. 2003, Candlewick Press,
— Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This zany story describes the plight of a homeless "Gigantic Exotic Gastropod"-in other words, a huge snail. The mollusk, which is as big as a pony, worries that he will be captured by a Snail Hunter or meet an equally disagreeable fate. So, to escape any number of dismal ends, he decides he must find himself a protector in the form of a pet owner. He chooses a boy from the park who appeals to him, but the child is not in the market for a pet and Snail must do quite a bit of convincing. The true charm of the story lies in the jovial banter between the two, resulting in what appears to be a lasting partnership. The naive look of the illustrations, done in ink and gouache, and use of color are somewhat reminiscent of 1960s pop-art styles. In fact, the Snail Hunter resembles one of the Meanie characters from the Beatles's The Yellow Submarine movie. Both the unconventional story line and the colorful artwork will appeal to youngsters.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Move over, Clifford. Seeking protection from chefs and exterminators, Snail, big as a pony but, as he says, "better looking, and much more interesting," sets out to find an owner. Able to do simple tricks, provide shelter from rain, and above all to talk, Snail wins over an initially reluctant lad who rides him-slowly, slowly-to the pet store for toys and snail chow, then off homeward. McGuirk illustrates this tongue-in-cheek hookup in minimalist cartoon style, endowing her grinning gastropod with a huge, iridescent shell placing him against monochromatic backgrounds, and adding an occasional thought balloon or visual joke. Here's one uncommon, wholly engaging companion/pet that's definitely not going to run off. (Picture book. 5-7)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780763612597
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Publication date:
06/28/2003
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
9.12(w) x 10.84(h) x 0.39(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

Meet the Author

Leslie McGuirk says that as she was putting the final touches on SNAIL BOY, a number of local snails descended on her house and then disappeared, apparently satisfied with the book’s outcome. An internationally recognized artist and the founder of McGuirk’s Quirks Design Studio, Leslie McGuirk is the author-illustrator of the Pip the Penguin series.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >