Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Snails Legs by Damian Harvey and Korky Paul (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

"....and they all lived happily ever after!"

Do you often wish that once, just once, a children's story would actually end with something other than a happy outcome? Step right this way for a timely reprint of a real classic - coming soon from Frances Lincoln Children's Books. Damian Harvey and Korky Paul's brilliant "Snails Legs" is a tale that, at first, seems to be a neat little riff on "The Hare and the Tortoise". Frog is the fastest creature in the forest, but as he gets older new contenders are eager to take his athletic crown. Upcoming track superstar Snail is swift and speedy, with the aid of his long muscular legs and his racing helmet, he's swiftly nipping at Frog's heels for the fastest animal trophy.

"Snails aren't fast! Snails don't have legs!" said Charlotte.

Hush my dear and wait...for this tale has an amusing twist or two that loans it a dark and slightly macabre tinge. A famous chef, the chef to the king, is on the lookout for animals with long speedy legs for a special competition. The winner will get to meet none other than the King himself!

Frog and Snail face off in a race for glory - who will win?

Just when you're settled in with the way you think the story will go, Damian twists things a little more. You see Snail might be boastful and vainglorious but he loves his friend Frog, and actually loves their competitive banter. Perhaps after all, winning isn't as important as letting an old frog have just one last moment of glory.

The race is won - and then once again Damian twists the story for the most surprising outcome. I love the fact that, though adults might see the end of the story coming a mile off, children are genuinely shocked and surprised (we won't spoil the end but it's MARVELLOUS and obviously explains why we don't see snails dashing around with their long legs on show!)

A modern fable, beautifully put together by a top story team!

Charlotte's best bit: A genuine gasp of shock at the outcome of the race and the meeting with the King.

Daddy's Favourite bit: An utterly fantastic, darkly tinged story that's full of surprises right up until the end. Brilliant storytelling, gorgeous Korky Paul art, what more could you possibly want!

Snails Legs

Written by Damian Harvey

Illustrated by Korky Paul

Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

(Kindly sent to us for review by Frances Lincoln Children's Books)