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SNAIL CROSSING by Corey R. Tabor


by Corey R. Tabor ; illustrated by Corey R. Tabor

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-06-287800-7
Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Why did the snail cross the road? Cabbage. How? That’s another story.

While “scooting around” one day, Snail spots a field of scrumptious cabbage on the other side of a dangerous road. The self-assured gastropod approaches the obstacle with a can-do attitude: “Well, you won’t stop me!” After traveling for some time—and generating a glistening trail of slime—Snail decides to take a break. Just then, a vehicle in the distance zooms closer. Snail narrowly avoids it. Further perils and delays arise, but the “cabbage bound” hero slimes his way out of them all. Despite all the stress, Snail keeps it kind: He invites a “troop of rowdy ants” inside his shell (and his vintage-decorated living room) to take shelter from the rain. But between the tea and other distractions, will Snail ever make it to his lunch? Though snail-centric, Tabor’s story is far from snail’s pace: Deft shifts between double- and single-page spreads and other visual cues heighten the drama of the fraught adventure. The cartoon illustrations digitally combine pencil, watercolor, and ink to create beautiful textures. Careful readers may see a visual mismatch between the more-detailed spreads and those set against a white background (e.g., how big is Snail’s shell home anyway?). Still, Tabor (of 2019 Geisel-winning Fox the Tiger fame) shines; his clever reversal of expectations will replace any skepticism with a fit of giggles.

A shell of a good time.

(Picture book. 4-8)