Escargot and the Search for Spring

Farrar. Feb. 2024. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780374314279.
PreS-Gr 1–Tired of winter, snow angels, and even cocoa, Escargot, the small French snail, is ready for the new season. Wearing his blue-and-white striped shirt, a red scarf, and matching hat with pompom, the gastropod digs himself out of his snow-blocked front door and goes exploring. Endearing cartoon illustrations are softly colored and humorous: Escargot attempting to make snow angels but having to deal with the shell on his back, looking a bit shamefaced as he eats a snowman’s carrot nose, and creating a new style for his antennae with a ribbon. His moods are easily read by the funny positions of his antennae: holding a snow shovel to dig himself out of his home and using one to hold a book while the other props up his head. Youngsters may wonder if the first sign of Spring isn’t the beautiful flowers enjoyed by Escargot and his new friend, but an intrusive white rabbit. Is this the Easter Bunny with his basket—filled with fresh vegetables instead of eggs—labeled with Escargot’s name? And is it an accident that gastropod (snail) and gastronomy (the practice of eating good food) come from the same Greek root?
VERDICT Young children will get a kick out of Escargot’s fourth story and may even learn a few of the French words scattered throughout Escargot’s monologue.

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