Watch Out Snail! by Gay Hay, illustrated by Margaret Tolland
Night slips in.
The forest stirs.
Down in its depths lives Snail,
its shell as big as your fist.
This is the first time a Powelliphanta snail has featured in a book, I am sure. Written in creative non-fiction style we meet the snail lithering through the forest floor. Can it escape the hunters? You'll also find out how the snail eats in an alien-like way, where it lives and other interesting bits of information at the back of the book. Teachers will find this last fact page useful for further study. I liked that they include the Maori words too.
The illustrations are vivid with accents of purple. They've also gone the extra expense and laminated the shell. Young hands will enjoy sliding their fingers over it - imagining they are touching the real thing.
This book will encourage 3-6 year olds to look for garden snails and have a whole new respect for them. Unfortunately, they are highly unlikely to find a Powelliphanta snail, as they are an endangered native species. A much needed book about a very rarely talked about species in New Zealand. It will help bring awareness to this snail's scarcity and uniqueness.
This duo also published 'Fantail Quilt' which was shortlisted for the LIANZA award.
Gay Hay is an environmental enthusiast and primary school teacher. She is a volunteer for Nga Uruora Trust and, as the Pukerua Bay school environmental officer, she has helped children plant and nurture over 6000 trees.
Margaret Tolland is an artist and teacher by trade. Margaret is currently the Education Coordinator at Pataka Museum of Arts and Cultures where she teaches people of all ages about art.
RRP $25 Buy here