The Snail and the Whale is probably familiar to most of the folks here. But if you’re in the small minority of people who have either never heard of it, or, in a weird case of reverse psychology, stubbornly resisted picking it up precisely because everyone keeps talking about it (ahem *guilty*), then this post is for you.
Don’t let the title fool you. While the term ‘high street’ brings to mind the typical mainstream chains and franchises that seem to be everywhere these days, if anything, Scottish author-illustrator Alice Melvin’s The High Street is a romantic throwback to the good old days of small independent shops that are not owned by faceless corporations, but regular folks whom you can actually get to know and build a trusting relationship with.
A little boy is instructed by his mom to get a list of grocery items: six farm eggs, a cake for tea, a pound of pears, and of course, bacon.
One autumn, lion finds an injured bird in his garden and generously invites him to spend the winter in his cosy little house, with the assurance, “You won’t be cold here.” As it turns out, of course, bird isn’t the only one in need of warmth, particularly the special kind that lonely hearts yearn for.
My son was only two when I first read him a library copy of Where the Wild Things Are. To say that he didn’t like it would be an understatement: he absolutely hated it and refused to sit through it again. Not surprisingly, given that we didn’t have the best experience with this book, I haven’t had reason to properly review it.
When a seagull randomly drops a can of bright orange paint on Mr. Plumbean’s roof, his house becomes a source of great consternation — not for him, however, but his neighbours, particularly since instead of restoring it to its original neat state, he does the exact opposite. This sparks a colourful chain reaction that changes the nondescript houses and lives of everyone on the street forever.
While on a (rather ill-advised) solo walk in the dark forest, Felix hears a loud “AHOUOUHOU” and quickly hides in a hollow tree trunk before some ferocious wild beasts show up.
When something goes “Roawr!” in the night, little Liam takes it upon himself to protect his obliviously “snore asleep” mother, especially since she is “delicious to forest things” and his dad is away.
If you think about it, childhood is when we go through some of the steepest learning curves in life — what with learning to walk, talk, read… it’s a pretty daunting list, really. And sometimes, what everyone, much less kids, needs is a little affirmation — that pat on the back to tell them that they’re doing just fine, and a little nudge in the right direction to push them to achieve more.