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The Snail's Spell
Brilliant illustrations and a short text invite an unnamed sleeping, pajama-clad child into a garden teeming with wildlife. The boy gradually shrinks until he is so small he experiences things as a snail would. The incredibly detailed drawings and the idea of shrinking to enter another world should capture children's imaginations.--School Library Journal.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 1st 1988 by Turtleback Books
(first published January 1st 1982)
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I encountered two books by Joanne Ryder, a creative children’s author. Lynne Cherry did the gorgeous drawings of “The Snail’s Spell” 1982. It asks us to put ourselves in a snail’s place, a worthy exercise for our imagination that brings insight into what life is like for someone structured differently than us. Joanne teaches every reader: how he moves, the way he eats, what he eats, what his body is like, and how he can protect himself by closing himself inward. I knew nothing about snails and w ...more
Oct 25, 2015 Jane rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Young children learn by pretending so in The Snail's Spell a young girl is asked to pretend she is a snail and at each step in the pretend play, she learns more about snails. The illustrations are outstanding and very attractive for both children and adults. It is a good science lesson book about an animal that is often found in our area. The children enjoy the book and I see them pretending in their free play to copy the story, which tells me that they have learned about snails and enjoyed the ...more
Jun 28, 2016 Siskiyou-Suzy rated it did not like it · review of another edition
I found this book a little bit confusing as I reading it. The boy imagined himself being small, but then none of the other changes actually happened. But there were also snails. So I would look from snail to boy, trying to see what I had just read about, and then be a little bit confused because I wasn't sure where to look. I just wasn't feeling it. I like the attempt, but not my thing.
Mar 29, 2013 Tasia rated it really liked it · review of another edition
This would be good for a kindergarten class. I do like stories that make kids think about those creatures with bad reputations-- snails don't strike most as being cute or relatable. I'd like to see if my class could imagine themselves being snails. Maybe then they wouldn't strike up a chorus of "ewwww!" every time they're mentioned.
Throughout the book it has beautiful colorful pictures of the garden. It allows the children to use their imaginations in becoming a snail. By describing step by step it allows you to actually think you are becoming a snail. I feel like the book is very calm and peaceful and you feel like you are in that garden while reading.
Jan 28, 2008 Kristen rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
This book was given an award for an "Outstanding Science Book for Young Children" by the New York Academy of Sciences. It takes you on a journey of what it's like to be a snail in a garden. Great illustrations - and I love snails (except in my own garden). Thanks to Morgan for sending us this great book!
Aug 23, 2011 Turrean rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Lovely for a preK storytime. Would be perfect paired with a nonfiction on snails and other garden creatures. The book lends itself to some playacting (lets be snails!)
Joanna Ryder is an award-winning author whose books offer a unique blend of poetry and science. Her innovative Just for a Day series invites children into the world of wild animals, ranging from a sea otter to Tyrannosaurus rex. Ms. Ryder says, "Children know that my books often ask them to imagine being a different creature. So they always ask me which animal I would choose to be. I'd be a flying ...moreMore about Joanne Ryder...