Snail Crossing

Corey R. Tabor. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-287800-7
Snail is determined to munch on the delicious-looking cabbage growing in the field across the road (“Cabbage bound! I’m cabbage bound!” he sings). Readers can see there’s big trouble ahead: snail moves at, well, a snail’s pace; cars and trucks are barreling down the forbidding, dark asphalt, and a crow thinks that Snail would make a tasty meal. But looming disaster is averted, and Snail eventually gets the cabbage he seeks, because he’s willing to put his mission on hold momentarily to give refuge—and tea—to some rude ants in a rainstorm (the interior of his shell is as cozy and domestically equipped as can be). Working in digitally finished pencil and wash, Geisel Award–winner Tabor (Fox the Tiger) presents a pink protagonist who’s an endearing mix of stubborn and openhearted, with eyestalks that are by turns steely and befuddled. The author handles the tricky themes of kindness and forgiveness with the lightest of touches (“Terribly sorry,” the ants tell Snail regarding their earlier brusqueness. “Sometimes we get antsy”) and a sweet, loopy storytelling logic. Ages 4–8. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 09/26/2019
Release date: 02/04/2020
Genre: Children's
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