Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Snails Are Just My Speed!

Snails Are Just My Speed!

Kevin McCloskey
For ages 5 to 8
TOON Books, 2018   ISBN: 978-1943145270

Snails carry their homes around on their backs, which can be a huge advantage. Imagine never having to go home at night because your home is right there. They can also retreat into their shells when predators are around, and their shells are often colored in such a way that the snail is beautifully camouflaged.

Of course, snails don’t move very fast, which some might think would be a disadvantage, but fast moving animals are easier to see then the ones that creep along the ground very slowly. A predator is more likely to notice a fast moving animal than a one that barely seems to move at all.

Many people find snails off-putting because of the mucus that they produce, but this mucus is very important. Snails use it to create trails on the ground, which allows them to move around on any surface safely. They can even move over the sharp edge of a knife without being cut by it. The mucus helps them to stick to slippery surfaces, and it serves as glue when the snail’s shell is damaged.

Though they are relatively simple creatures, snails can live in all kinds of ecosystems, including under water, and on snowy mountains. There are thousands of snails species found around the world. They can be huge, like the Giant African Snail, which is more than a foot long, or so tiny that they can fit through the eye of a needle.

This wonderful book introduces children to a family of creatures that will be familiar to many of them. They will soon learn, thanks to the engaging text and artwork, that snails are fascinating creatures. In fact, readers may find themselves seeing snails in a whole new way.