Young naturalists will love McCloskey’s look at snails.
In a manner most unsnaillike, McClokey zooms from fact to fact as he informs and entertains readers with information about these surprisingly interesting gastropods. The pacing never feels rushed, however, as the facts transition as smoothly as if on a “road of slimy mucus.” Readers will learn how slowly snails move as compared to other creatures, the advantages of moving slowly, and how they influence the journeys of other snails (spoiler alert: Mucus just may be involved). Fans of The Real Poop on Pigeons (2016) and We Dig Worms (2015) will get a kick out of this latest installment in the fact-based early graphic novel series. The information is paired with colorful cartoon illustrations that toe the line between caricature and surrealism. While the snails are the book’s stars, they are observed by a group of racially diverse children. Savvy educators will appreciate the book’s versatility: It would be the star of an intimate gross-book–themed storytime (due to its relatively small size) or may be used as the inspiration for a pre-K lesson plan on anything from wildlife and nature to gardening to body fluids.
Overall, a fun read and a smart selection for any elementary nature shelf. (Graphic informational early reader. 6-8)