Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A self-satisfied slug ignores its friends' alliterative warnings as it proudly climbs a slope that turns out to be the back of a hungry toad: "Such a shock, such a shame. Such a succulent slug!" Ages 4-9. (May)
Children's Literature - Dr. Judy Rowen
In this sibilant saga stalks a silly slug as he slithers up the wrong slope. In addition to alliterative use of the letter "S," each illustration has the letter hidden cleverly within. Detailed drawings depict other creatures that share the slug's world and try to warn him of his folly. Especially useful for youngsters learning to pronounce "S" or learning to recognize its sound.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2A slug senses a slope and saunters on up, against the advice of a sparrow, a spider, and a skink, among others, and meets with a sudden, spontaneous demise. Such is the life of a slug told with a multitude of common and not so common "S" words (shantung). The bold-faced text is short but not simple. "Seldom swerving or straggling or swaying or skewing, the smug slug shambled on." Despite this boggle of words, youngsters will likely continue reading, having been caught up in this snaillike mollusk's serendipitous fate. Realistically detailed, earth-toned illustrations focus attention on each scene. Varied animals' perspectives reign throughout while the bumpy surface that the slug climbs remains a mystery until the end. In addition to the animals named in the text, other "S" creatures are shown. Plus, to ensure close scrutiny and multiple readings, an "S" shape has been hidden in each picture. This slug is so appealing and full of personality that it will certainly garner sympathy. The cover alone, where the slug's expression is indeed smug, is enough to get readers to select this book.Martha Topol, Traverse Area District Library, Traverse City, MI
This duo collaborated on the alliterative Four Famished Foxes and Fosdyke (1995, not reviewed); here, a supercilious little slug struggles up a bumpy slope blocking the path through its woodland domain. Ignoring the warnings of other forest denizens (all creatures with names beginning with the letter ssparrow, spider, swallowtail, skink, stinkbug, and squirrel), it reaches the summit, only to be devoured by the toad it has unwittingly climbed.
This bit of whimsy is made memorable by the crescendo of suspense built by the relentlessly alliterative text, the ground- level illustrations of flora and fauna (highly realistic except for the self-satisfied visage of the snail and the toad licking its lips), and the presence of the other animals and S-shapes to search for in the pictures. It's fun for readers who aren't ready for Graeme Base's Animalia (1987) and great reinforcement of sound- letter correspondence for initial s and sh (both are used; soft c is not). Teachers will hope that a "big book" version is in the works for the classroom.