Friday 6 September 2013

The Snorgh and the Sailor by Will Buckingham and Thomas Docherty (Alison Green Books)

The Snorgh and the Sailor

Written by Will Buckingham

Illustrated by Thomas Docherty

Published by Alison Green Books

What on EARTH is a Snorgh? Well, in truth it's a bit of a grumpy little soul that prefers to live alone in a remote marsh, eat delicious samphire soup (which it keeps to itself) and absolutely, positively never entertains visitors.

Until, that is, a sailor arrives one day and crashes in on the Snorgh's solitary existence uninvited (how rude!)

The sailor, an effervescent and energetic hare soon makes himself at home, sharing the Snorgh's soup and even taking up the Snorgh's favourite chair near the fire. The cheek of it!

Soon though, the Snorgh's life changes completely when the sailor begins to tell tales of his adventures out at sea. Giant islands that turn out to be whales, giant sea monsters that threaten to dash a boat against the rocks, mysterious lands that lay undiscovered as you sail the seven seas.

As they settle down for the night, the Snorgh has a vivid dream. A dream of adventure but instead of the sailor, it's the Snorgh who seeks excitement and discovery.

When the Snorgh wakes up the next morning, eager to hear the sailor finish his tales, he finds the sailor has gone but spies his boat far out to sea. Using his trusty barnacle-covered bath the Snorgh gives chase, and then the real adventure begins!

A great tale of an unlikely friendship and a subtle moral lesson about playing it safe, wrapping yourself up in a mundane existence rather than getting "out there" and finding out what a big beautiful world we live in. We rather liked the Snorgh for all his initial grumpiness (Charlotte had a bit of an issue with the Snorgh's gender, he does have rather beautiful eyelashes so she set her mind to calling Snorgh "She" - which is fine and dandy, doesn't change a thing about the story either!)

Charlotte's best bit: Rich descriptions of samphire soup (which I'm now going to try and cook and let her try) and the lovely Snorgh's eyelashes (oh and the whale island bit is ace!)

Daddy's Favourite bit: A book that feels like a wonderful modern fable, with great characters and lots of excitement to grip little readers (and big ones too!). A brilliant find in our library but it's still in print too, so go grab!