Snails Are Just My Speed! HC
Publisher: TOON Books
Release Date: March 7, 2018
Price: $12.95
Creator: Kevin McCloskey
Format: 40 pgs., Full-Color, Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-9431-4527-0
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