Sorry, Snail

Little, Brown. May 2023. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780316537728.
Gr 1-4–The cover of this book features a cute girl holding an equally cute blue-shelled snail. The title page is illustrated with a crumpled piece of paper showing a charming illustration of the snail as if it were done by the girl. However, the pages that follow these adorable pictures are an unexpectedly phantasmagoric descent into surreal gastropod horror. It begins when Ari, the main character, insults a snail named Ms. Snail while she is in a bad mood. That night, Ms. Snail creeps into Ari’s bedroom. Its eyestalks become as long as giant squid tentacles. And it talks, demanding an apology. A frightened Ari apologies. In an image fit for a Junji Ito graphic novel, Ms. Snail’s eyestalks enter Ari’s eye sockets and go into her body, as the snail “telescope[s] into Ari’s soul.” Determining Ari’s apology is not sincere, Ms. Snail recruits hundreds of her snail friends to harass Ari until she apologizes again. This apology is deemed sincere, despite being the result of a coordinated harassment campaign. Ms. Snail also apologizes, and they become friends and live happily ever after. Strong artwork brings this bizarre story to life. Subisak’s color palette is varied and she is gifted at displaying subtle emotions, both human and snail. The story includes the fun vocabulary word “escargatoire,” meaning a large quantity of snails.
VERDICT While the message is earnest, the method is extreme in today’s climate of online bullying and harassment; the sensibility has a very specific appeal and should be doled out with caution.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing