The Snail Mail Promise: “Neither rain, nor snow, nor heat, nor hail will stop a snail from bringing the mail.”
After asserting that before “e-mail and sending, clicking and texting,” letters were sent by Snail Mail, the text introduces four snail mail carriers: Dale Snail, Gail Snail, Col. McHale Snail, and Umbérto. The tongue-in-cheek text goes on to say that people agreed that certain types of mail were made more special by Snail Mail. When a girl in Santa Monica who loves a boy in New York makes him a card, the snails are determined to deliver the letter. They creep into position under the letter and begin their slow, arduous journey. The art shows irresistible snails with eyeballs on stalks protruding above their clothed soft parts, shells exposed to the weather. There is a nod to cinematic conventions as the snail trail, represented by dashes in red ink, winds from the deserts of the West through the country’s heartland and into urban New York. Engaging watercolors offer varied landscapes and postcardlike views of famous landmarks. Another scene shows the snails briefly hitching a ride with sparrows. Both children have sweet, brownish faces. The absurdity of the premise—and repeated promise—is humorously upheld throughout.
Art and text take a literal definition and do a great job of running—er, creeping—with it. (Picture book. 3-7)