What can you say about a story about a French snail? How about, "Oui oui!"
We get new picture books every single week, and sometimes I get a bit weary of the same themes, the same plots, the same sweet illustrations. They’re all wonderful, of course, but there’s nothing that sets them apart.
Today we opened Escargot by Dashka Slater. It’s unassuming enough . . . with a cute little snail (dressed in a French striped shirt and ascot) on the cover. But when you start reading it, you immediately see that Escargot is a pretty special snail—He tells you so himself! You know that slimy trail snails leave behind? Well, Escargot is so proud of his shiny trail, and he wants to know if you, the reader, have one too!
Escargot’s mission is to get to the salad at the end of the book, and using reader involvement, he gets there! You get to rub his shell and make scary faces (but not too scary!). Just try reading this book without a French accent! I’m not good with accents, but it’s written so that you can manufacture one pretty easily, and it surely shows Escargot’s true personality when read that way.
This is a clever, fun, entertaining story with a unique character (just watch, we’ll have a run on snail stories now). The way he interacts with the reader is endearing. After a few reads, I bet a snail will be on your list of your favorite animals!