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The Snail House

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  83 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews

Allan Ahlberg's fanciful tale, paired with beautifully detailed artwork by Gillian Tyler, invites children to see the world from a different perspective.

Here is the story Grandma tells one evening on her wide veranda steps. It has Michael and Hannah and the disappearing baby in it, a tigerish bird,
raindrops like sacks of water, and the hugest apple you ever saw. Oh yes .

Hardcover, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2001 by Candlewick (first published September 4th 2000)
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The Snail and the Whale by Julia DonaldsonAdeline Schlime by Tatjana HauptmannThe Biggest House in the World by Leo LionniThe Legend of the Golden Snail by Graeme BaseThe Snail House by Allan Ahlberg
5th out of 22 books — 3 voters
The Little House by Virginia Lee BurtonIn a People House by Dr. SeussCome Over to My House by Theo.LesiegHouse Held Up by Trees by Ted KooserThe Great Blue House by Kate Banks
Picture books about houses
48th out of 52 books — 13 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 05, 2016 Suki rated it it was amazing
Grandma tells Michael and Hannah a story. The illustrations are lovely too.
Jul 10, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
The charm of this picture book comes from the Grandma telling a story to her grandkids while sitting outside with evening coming on. It mirrors the organic way a story to told to children - with questions and comments from the grandkids while their grandmother weaves a fantastical, nature, earthy store about the snail house.

The three children featured in the grandmother's story are clearly her grandkids from the illustrations. One day, they have the ability to grow small - so small that they ca
Feb 11, 2016 Alexandria rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I loved this book, though the boys I watch were less interested. A few kids are shrunk down and end up making a tiny perfect home inside a snail shell until they can get back to normal.

I'm always a sucker for impromptu homes, but the prose was longer and a bit more dense than the boys (aged 3 and 5) are used to. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and I think children should be exposed to longer books at an earlier age, but it is something to keep in mind for a story time program or similar act
This book is alright, but it did not really grab me. This book describes life if one was really small - small enough to live on a house on a snail. I did not like this book because of the choppy flow of the plot; and, the pictures were very grainy. For a picture book to be good, the pictures have to catch the attention of the audience. They mostly tell the story, which they did in this book. Their quality was not all that spectacular, however.
Lots to look at in these illustrations. Liked the fanciful fantasy of living in a moving, breathing, snail-house. Not really practical for the snail, of course, who would have trouble pulling itself into its shell once people moved in... Grandma shares several short stories relating the adventures of her grandchildren (who shrink down tiny so that they'll fit in a snail shell sized house). These are shorter than short - the artwork is really this book's strongest feature.
The Styling Librarian
The Snail House by Allan Ahlberg, illustrated by Gillian Tyler - publ. in 2000 – Wow, these illustrations were so delicate that I just had to pick up the book. It contained a very special story told by a grandmother to her grandchildren about some kids who shrunk to the size of an ant and had a huge adventure. My favorite part was the snail house illustrations. *Reminded me of Dr. Doolittle’s home….
Jan 04, 2012 Kidsbookworm rated it it was amazing
This book is a delightful story to read to a child. It's a great bedtime story, too. I love the consonance in the sentence structure - it can be so soothing to read this story aloud in a soft tone. I don't think we will ever part with this story.
Dec 31, 2012 April rated it it was amazing
The version I read is the book in simplified Chinese By Heying Books. The story is heartwarming. Meanwhile the publisher kindly provides original content in English as well. I like the painting style very much.
May 28, 2015 Barb rated it it was ok
Nice pictures. I'm surprised this book received so many 4 and 5 stars. I thought it was messily written - especially as a read aloud book. Poorly punctuated. Unnecessary distractions. I don't want to read it again to my 6 year old.
Feb 12, 2013 Tessa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-book
This was an absolutely charming, lovely book! The illustrations were fantastic and the text was sweet - just like sitting in Grandma's lap. My kids loved studying the highly detailed pictures to see what was happening in the story.
May 01, 2014 Bree rated it it was ok
the art is so unbelievably great, but the story is lacking; instead of Grandma telling the story of the fascinating mini-world, it would have worked better if it was JUST a story on it's own, without Grandma!
Sarah Stumphf
Nov 18, 2013 Sarah Stumphf rated it it was amazing
Beautiful artwork, great bedtime story. Calm story to fuel little imaginations as they get ready to drift off and dream.
Jun 17, 2008 Sally rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Sweet grandmother telling the kids a make-believe story about them. Adventurous without being scary. Wonderful illustrations.
May 22, 2012 Alexa rated it it was ok
Didn't like it. It was very slow-paced and I found the distraction of the phone ringing, the cat coming into the yard, the baby's hat needing adjusting, etc unnecessary and, well, distracting.
Heather rated it it was ok
Sep 04, 2013
Lydia rated it liked it
Mar 23, 2013
Yvonne rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2013
Ann rated it liked it
Mar 06, 2012
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Oct 20, 2009
Gabe rated it liked it
May 24, 2011
Michelle Gibson
Michelle Gibson rated it liked it
Nov 24, 2015
Canadian Reader
Canadian Reader rated it liked it
Aug 13, 2016
Kara Kirby
Kara Kirby rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2016
Anna Shipilova
Anna Shipilova rated it liked it
Aug 24, 2014
Edward Sullivan
Edward Sullivan rated it liked it
Aug 11, 2011
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Elke Erickson rated it really liked it
Aug 15, 2014
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Sep 05, 2011
Kerry rated it it was amazing
Mar 14, 2014
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Mar 03, 2015
Michelle Maria
Michelle Maria rated it it was ok
Dec 30, 2010
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Allan Ahlberg, one of the most acclaimed and successful authors of children's books - including the best-selling Jolly Postman series - says that he dreamed of becoming a writer since the age of twelve. But his route to that goal was somewhat circuitous.

Other jobs along the way included postman (not an especially jolly one, he recalls), gravedigger, plumber, and teacher.

The author wrote his firs
More about Allan Ahlberg...

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