I know I’m not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but…I liked this book the moment I saw it.
Not only was the adorable Snippet the snail etched out with a patchwork shell, but the story I was about to read was clearly about a snail that got up early. Earliness runs in our family; it is 5:17 am as I type this.
If I want to squeeze in time to write with three young children, it needs to be before 6 am, as they are all early risers. Snippet would be happy living with us.
So I was smitten from the start with Snippet, and that feeling only grew when I actually opened the book to read about him.
We meet Snippet, “an ordinary snail” who likes to do things Murguia cleverly describes as ordinary snail things: drawing on sidewalks (with their slime), making leaf sculptures (munching leaves in a pattern), taking piggyback rides (on bigger snails). All of these activities are accompanied with an adorable drawing.
He shares these activities with his family, but they do not share his habit of waking up early. They prefer (who doesn’t?!) to sleep a little later.
Every morning, Snippet bounds out of his leaf-bed, eager to start his day. Every morning, his sleepy family doesn’t stir at all despite his funny attempts to wake them.
Finally, he is successful: Snippet and a few other early-rising insects create a bed of leaves under his family. By himself (his buggy friends wisely leave this part up to him) he chews a circle around his family and they—PLOP!¬—¬fall down into the bed of leaves, wake up, and enjoy one version of breakfast in bed. They seem amused by Snippet, and I like that they are not the least big annoyed with him.
Once they’ve eaten, the family plays around together in cute little snail-ways. Until the inevitable happens: the early riser becomes the early sleeper…and then, the next morning, the early riser yet again.
Some books have big lessons, deep meanings, and certain truths to them. These books are great additions to our children’s bookshelves because of the discussions that hopefully happen as kids are snuggled up, exploring bigger parts of life safely from our laps and through characters in books.
Other books, like Snippet the Early Riser, are just delightful to read because they make us smile. I like that this book gives us a reason to see a not-so-celebrated habit from one snail’s perspective.
But there are no huge lessons or meanings in this book. Mostly, it’s a book to giggle at and enjoy simply because it’s cute—main character, story, and illustrations.
It is a fantastic addition to any child’s shelf, but especially those whose parents blurrily and foggily reach for books on that shelf a little earlier than they’d like.
Snippet the Early Riser
By Bethanie Deeney Murguia
Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books http://www.randomhouse.com/kids
Price: Available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books a Million! for approximately $12
|Easy to Read||5|
|Quality of Illustrations
|Appealed to Both Boys and Girls||5|
|Kept My Child(ren)’s interest||5|
|I Would Purchase This For My Family||yes|
|I would Purchase This As A Gift||yes|
| Overall Rating
All ratings on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being highest.
Meet the Reviewer!
Kate Schwarz is a full-time mom
and wife living in Great Falls, VA.
In addition to reading to her three
small hildren, Kate runs marathons,
Crossfits, and blogs about raising
kids with books at