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The Silver Spoon of Solomon Snow

The Silver Spoon of Solomon Snow

4.0 2
by Kaye Umansky, Scott Nash (Illustrator)

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Readers will laugh out loud at this daft and clever account of a foundling who sets out in search of his destiny, only to encounter some woeful misadventures along the way.

In a wretched hovel at the top of a moor lives a boy named Solomon Snow. Each day he slaves for Ma and Pa Scubbins's laundry service, and each night he slurps down a bowl of vegetable slop


Readers will laugh out loud at this daft and clever account of a foundling who sets out in search of his destiny, only to encounter some woeful misadventures along the way.

In a wretched hovel at the top of a moor lives a boy named Solomon Snow. Each day he slaves for Ma and Pa Scubbins's laundry service, and each night he slurps down a bowl of vegetable slop, wishing only for the luxury of a spoon. Imagine poor Solly's surprise when he learns that he's actually a flounder - er, foundling - dumped ten years ago on the Scubbinses' doorstep in a (laundry) basket, with a silver spoon right in his mouth! The utensil was long ago pawned by Pa, but that doesn't stop Solly from setting out in search of his spoon, his real parents, and his rightful inheritance. Joining him on his quest are a pair of unlikely companions: a bossy, pointy-nosed writer named Prudence and the insufferable Infant Prodigy, a circus performer with some well-practiced tricks up her sleeve.

Will Solly finally locate his spoon, and have to wear velvet pantaloons? Prepare for a preposterous ending sure to surprise and delight the Intelligent Reader as much as it does our intrepid hero.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Sue Reichard
Solomon Snow was a British foundling who was left on the doorstep of a poor washer woman and her husband. The pair thought the new wash basket would be very useful, but they were not too sure about the baby boy with the silver spoon in his mouth that came with that much needed wash basket. It was not for ten years that Solomon discovered his true identity from a poor girl with whom he went to school. When his "parents" admit the truth, and yes, they did hock his silver spoon to the pawnbroker, Solly sets off to Town to with a friend, Prudence. Along the way the pair is joined by an Infant Prodigy named Rosabella, and then joined by The Dirtiest Boy in Town. They all want to join Solly in his quest to find his silver spoon and the truth about his parents. The group's adventures and various "skills" allow them to break into the pawn shop where Solly's adopted father sold his silver spoon and eventually help him find his real parents, Lady Elvira and Sir Charles, whose strife is detailed in alternating chapters. There is plenty of action to keep young readers turning pages.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-A luckless foundling stars in this sometimes-amusing orphan tale. When 10-year-old Solly Snow learns that he was left on the doorstep as a baby, he immediately sets off to find his true parents. His only clue is the silver spoon that Pa Scubbins had recently pawned in town. Accompanied by a bookish neighbor girl and a pesky, but clever circus performer called the "Infant Prodigy," the boy has several narrow escapes and surprises before his quest ends. These mildly involving adventures are related in a sardonic tone that fans of Lemony Snicket's books might enjoy. Highlights include several "interludes" that mockingly describe the still-grieving "Perfect Parents" who may (or may not) finally clear up the mystery of Solly's birth. The cloyingly sweet, but resourceful "Prodigy" is an especially fun character, as she blithely charms and annoys people along the way. Sly narration injects a sense of fun to many of the happenings. Solly himself isn't particularly funny, but his determination, lightened by nervousness and occasional moments of exasperation with his companions, makes him a likable protagonist. His Victorian-style world is filled with greedy adults on the lookout for orphans to exploit. The tale loses a bit of steam when the humor takes a backseat to plot advancement, but there are enough quirky characters and funny moments to sustain readers' interest through to the unexpected, but satisfying conclusion.-Steven Engelfried, Beaverton City Library, OR Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Foundling Solly searches for his origins in a humorously Dickensian world. Solly works for his parents' laundry business, where his prissy manners stand out in his poverty-stricken village. He's shocked to discover he arrived on his parents' doorstep in a raging blizzard with a silver spoon in his mouth, and leaves home questing for his true parents. Accompanied by Prudence, the local poacher's daughter, and the Infant Prodigy, a lisping circus child, Solly confronts overly affectionate kidnappers, a silver-loving orphanage matron and The Dirtiest Boy in the World. The conclusion of Solly's story is an amusingly unexpected note in a seemingly conventional adventure. Despite some excesses-the Infant Prodigy's speech impediment quickly goes beyond funny to annoying-this over-the-top parody of Oliver Twist-type adventures is a good giggle. (Fiction. 9-12)

Product Details

Candlewick Press
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 7.91(h) x 1.11(d)
600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
7 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Silver Spoon of Solomon Snow

By Kaye Umansky


Copyright © 2005

Kaye Umansky

All right reserved.

ISBN: 0763627925

"You sold my clothes?"

Solly's voice came out in a strangled squeak.

"They wasn't strictly your clothes, Son," said Pa. "You was a babby. They was too big for you."

"Still! They were in my basket. My clothes. My basket. Wasn't there anything else there? Any sort of clue to my identity? A note? An embroidered hankie? Didn't you even make inquiries?"

"No, Son. Brutally speakin', you was just plain dumped," said his father. "And we took you in, out of the kindness of our 'earts."

"And because you needed the basket."

"Well, yes, there was that."

"There must have been something," insisted Solly. "It was snowing. Wasn't I wrapped in a shawl or anything?"

"Nope. Just the cloth."

"Cloth? What cloth?"

"That bit of old cloth you drag around with you. It was newer then, o' course."

"I was wrapped in my crumb-catching cloth?"


Well, well. It was all coming out now. Solly snatched up his cloth, which had fallen to the floor. He stood turning it over in his hands. Just a plain, blank square, fraying a little on one edge, with a couple of stubborn grease stains that wouldn't come out. No clues there.

"How old was I at the time?" he demanded.

"Well, we don't know, do we?" sniffed his mother. "I do know you was teethin', because you had the spoon in yer mouth -- "

She stopped and clapped her hand to her mouth again.

"Spoon?" said Solly. "What spoon?"

"Now see," muttered Pa Scubbins to his wife. "That's another can o' worms you've opened up."

"Oh, he might as well know it all," cried Ma Scubbins. She raised her sodden face to Solly. "There was a spoon, Son. A fancy silver spoon. You was suckin' on it."

I can't believe this, thought Solly. Revelation after revelation! Doorstep, snow, basket, fancy clothes - and now a spoon?


THE SILVER SPOON OF SOLOMON SNOW by Kaye Umansky. Copyright (c) 2005 by Kaye Umansky. Published by Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA.


Excerpted from The Silver Spoon of Solomon Snow
by Kaye Umansky
Copyright © 2005 by Kaye Umansky.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Kaye Umansky taught in elementary schools for twelve years, specializing in music and drama. In her spare time, she sang and played keyboards with a semi-professional soul band. Now a full-time author, Kaye Umansky has written many delightful and humorous books for young readers. She says, "A while ago, I went on a 're-read Charles Dickens binge.' Inspired, I cried, 'I can do that!' I couldn't. What came out was SOLOMON SNOW." She lives in London.

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The Silver Spoon of Solomon Snow 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So exciting to find a children's book with a great plot and interesting, unpredictable characters. My 8 year old daughter and I couldn't put it down. This was an intoxicating breath of fresh air - a welcome break from the cliches and boredom common in much of children's literature!