THE SNAIL'S SPELL by Joanne Ryder


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Imagine you are soft and have no bones inside you. . . . You are shrinking smaller and smaller and smaller. . . . Imagine you have no arms and legs now."" Having set forth a few facts of snail life in the easy-reader Snail in the Woods (1980), Ryder now calls on smaller children to put themselves in a snail's place: gliding along as ""you"" make ""your own smooth sticky path,"" scraping tiny bits of lettuce with the tiny teeth on your tongue, curling a feeler around a lettuce leaf, then pulling it back in when it touches something ""alive and wiggly,"" and, later, tucking your soft gray body in your shell to sleep. Cherry, for good measure, pictures both a snarl and a child who shrinks down to snail size, and she encourages the fantasy with her dark backgrounds and pretty spreads of garden scenes that look like forest scenes from the snail's-eye view. (In fact, it's a wild sort of garden, mixing cabbages and wild flowers, seed packets and toads, for a sort of fantasy effect that makes the game superficially inviting, though it may limit full-fledged conviction.) Worth trying as something different.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1982
Publisher: Warne