Reviews /

Snail Trail

Authored by Ziggy Hanaor
Illustrated by Christos Kourtoglou
Published by Cicada Books

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Marjorie is finding it difficult to find some space and time to be alone. Her family and friends notice that she is not feeling quite right and try to help but Marjorie doesn’t want their help, she wants to be alone!

Marjorie is a happy snail with lots of family and friends but despite this occasionally needs some alone time. She searches for places to go but someone always appears to check on her, to ask her if she is ok, to see if she needs anything. Marjorie wonders how she keeps being found and her mum explains that they have been following her trail. Undeterred, Marjorie travels further and longer to get some space and eventually she finds herself alone at last! Whilst alone, Marjorie finds that she is able to be in the moment and be truly relaxed. However, when she attempts to find her way back home, she realises she is lost and cannot find her way back. This is when her friend Bernard comes to the rescue and they both make their way home together.

Snail Trail is a great way to discuss strategies for supporting our own mental health and does so in a way that is accessible to our youngest learners. It allows us to ask questions about what we can do when we are feeling fed up or angry or sad. It also allows children to see that it is ok to want to be alone. I especially liked the mindfulness that Marjorie undertakes when she eventually finds herself alone. Additionally, the illustrations are gentle and the colour scheme is muted. I can imagine children replicating this style in their own artworks.

I would recommend this book as a read aloud story shared with Key Stage 1 children. It is also a story that would sit well in class libraries for independent reading. It could also be used in Key Stage 2 to support and discuss mental health strategies.