ICv2 Stars: 5 (out of 5)
Posted by Brigid Alverson on May 6, 2018 @ 6:02 pm CT
Publisher: TOON Books
Release Date: March 7, 2018
Creator: Kevin McCloskey
Format: 40 pgs., Full-Color, Hardcover
Age Rating: 4-8 years
ICv2 Rating: 5 Stars out of 5
This is the fourth book in Kevin McCloskey’s aptly named "Giggle and Learn" series, and like the others, it presents an assortment of facts about the subject matter (snails) in a series of wide two-page spreads. In one spread, different animals race across the page, comparing their speed to the speed of a snail; in another, he demonstrates the properties of mucus by showing a snail climbing over a knife without getting cut. There’s plenty of basic information here—snail anatomy, what their predators are, where they live—and the fun-facts concept is a good one for young readers. (The most fun fact isn’t actually about snails, though—it’s that humans produce four cups of mucus a day.)
McCloskey’s art is casual but accurate, which is to say, he makes it look easier than it probably is. He uses acrylic paint on a yellow parchment background, and he employs a wide palette of hues but fairly soft tones. A young girl offers a running commentary, and a diverse cast of kids show up in the illustrations as well.
Snails is geared for early readers in kindergarten and first grade, with simple layouts and a limited vocabulary. A page in the back has suggestions for adults who might want to read the comic aloud. With its cute snails, intriguing facts, and even a streak of mucus (actually, spot varnish) on the front, this is a good choice for young kids who are curious about science or just like gross things.
-- Brigid Alverson