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Snippet the Early Riser

Snippet the Early Riser

by Bethanie Murguia

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Snippet is a typical snail. But unlike other snails, he loves to wake up early. While his family is snoozing the morning away, he is wide awake and ready to race to the flowers, make leaf sculptures, and get piggyback rides. With the help of his bug friends,  he tries and tries to wake his family up—but nothing works. Until Caterpillar gives him an idea.


Snippet is a typical snail. But unlike other snails, he loves to wake up early. While his family is snoozing the morning away, he is wide awake and ready to race to the flowers, make leaf sculptures, and get piggyback rides. With the help of his bug friends,  he tries and tries to wake his family up—but nothing works. Until Caterpillar gives him an idea. 

Celebrating early birds and late snoozers alike, this story will ring true for the many families with little early risers. It's the perfect tale to fall asleep (or wake up!) to.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Michael Ian Black
…charming…Murguia's cheerful watercolors animate her book with quiet whimsy, making it a just-right story for rambunctious youngsters. Parents, however, be warned: If your own energetic snails take Snippet too much to heart, you may expect an even earlier-than-expected wake-up call.
Publishers Weekly
Having previously examined the sleeping woes of the very tiny in Buglette, the Messy Sleeper, Murguia returns with another nighttime problem every family will recognize: Snippet the snail wakes up at sunrise and can’t get his family to play with him. To rouse them, Snippet and his insect friends try making music and bouncing on “the bed” (the leaf underneath which the family sleeps), before Snippet decides to make them breakfast. He chomps right through their leaf, delivering them into the heap of soft leaf bits he’s prepared—the snail equivalent of making pancakes for everybody. Text alternates with smartly worded speech balloons (“Are you gonna eat those stems?” Snippet’s father asks his wife). Seeing the world of common garden undergrowth at many times life size is one attraction of this low-key book, and Murguia’s limpid watercolors and adorable snails charm, too. She has given much thought to what slow-moving snails can and cannot do for recreation, and information on the endpapers (“Snails can pull up to 200 times their weight”) playfully augments the main story. Ages 3–6. Agent: Mary Kole, Moveable Type Management. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
A little snail takes drastic measures to get his mother, father and sister to wake up earlier in the morning. Just an "ordinary snail" who likes to draw on the sidewalk, create leaf sculptures, play soccer and take piggyback rides, Snippet's definitely an early riser. Unfortunately, his mother, father and sister love "to snooze all morning" and barely stir when Snippet tries knocking, hollering and turning on the shower to wake them and relieve his boredom. Grasshopper suggests jumping on the bed. Cricket suggests chirping. Ant suggests pushing everyone out of bed. Firefly suggests flashing his light. Stinkbug offers to roust them with his stench. Snippet desperately tries it all (almost--he wisely rejects Stinkbug's idea). Nothing works until Snippet finds a creative solution to lure his family to the breakfast table. Amusing illustrations rely on precise ink outlines with watercolor and gouache washes to give Snippet, his family and his insect pals a comic charm. Readers view Snippet from a bug's-eye perspective as he ingeniously works to wake up the sleepyheads. Lighthearted endpapers introduce facts about snails critical to the storyline: They sleep a lot, wake slowly, pull up to 200 times their weight, enjoy piggyback rides and have eyes in different locations. Early risers will identify with Snippet's dilemma. (Picture book. 2-6)
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Snippet loves his family and he loves doing snail things like draw with his slimy trail or play soccer with the mealy bugs or chew designs in leaves. BUT, he does not love that his family sleeps so late. He nudges them. He drips rain water onto them. His friend Grasshopper suggests bouncing up and down on the top of the leaf his family is using for a bed. No luck. Snippet and Cricket sing to the snail family. No luck. Ant and Snippet try to push the other snails off the leaf. No luck. Firefly suggests turning on his light and Stinkbug suggests stinking them out of bed. No luck. Finally the persistent young snail realizes how to get his family up when he see Caterpillar munching on a leaf. Snippet drags a whole pile of his family's favorite type of leaf underneath their bed. Then he chews a hole around his family's bed and when they wake up, he announces, "Breakfast in bed." Now his father is ready to give piggyback rides and his sister is ready to play soccer and his mother is ready to do leaf sculptures. But Snippet is tired from all his efforts to rouse his family and is soon curled up in his shell, sound asleep. The lively illustrations and humorous text make this picture book zing, along with teaching children a thing or two about snails. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Snippet, a young snail, wants his family to wake up and play. His friends try to help rouse them: Grasshopper by bouncing on the leaf bed, Firefly by turning on his light, and so on. But Snippet gets inspiration as he watches Caterpillar chew on a leaf, and his quest to wake up the others culminates in a tour-de-force scheme of breakfast in bed. This charming story highlights creative problem solving. Expressive, cartoonlike watercolor and ink illustrations are awash in greens and blues, and the characters come alive through the tilt of their heads, sounds, and silly or serious comments in speech bubbles. Endpapers include a few facts about snails. Great fodder for those looking for picture books that focus on the creative process.—Sara Lissa Paulson, The American Sign Language and English Lower School, New York City

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

BETHANIE DEENEY MURGUIA graduated summa cum laude from the University of Rochester, where she studied psychology and fine art. She received an MFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in New York. While in New York, she was an art director for Hearst Magazines. Bethanie lives in California with her husband and two little snippets of her own. She is also the author of Buglette, the Messy Sleeper.

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