How to Party Like a Snail

Owlkids. Sept. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.95. ISBN 9781771474177.
PreS-Gr 3–Even the meekest of partiers will feel seen by this snail. Snail loves being invited to parties, but sometimes all the noise makes him shrink into his shell. It’s not long before he stops getting invited. Luckily Snail thinks up his very own, very subdued party, just for himself. “I love me!” he says in a refreshing portrayal of a quiet yet confident character. The party is perfect. He has warm milk, “a hug in a mug,” and lip syncs to lullabies. Except his party is missing one thing—a friend! Stump, as always (after all, he’s rooted to the ground) is there for Snail, and they snuggle up in a blanket for a wild all-nighter “in their hearts.” As in Weekend Dad, Hrab tackles an important topic with humor: how can we belong if we aren’t like everyone else? Collier’s (A Horse Named Steve) illustrations strike just the right tone: sincere and humorous. In muted, vintage tones, the all-animal-and-one-stumpcast includes wide-eyed Snail with a party hat atop his shell, Raccoon swinging his hips to the music, Worm and Bear getting their boogie on, and an extremely expressive Stump. Adults will enjoy the requisite boom box in the forest, but kids might wonder what in the world it is!
VERDICT A nice social-emotional addition to any collection, this has a very quiet character carrying a rather loud message: All volumes welcome.

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