I fondly remember writing handwritten letters to family and friends when I was a child. I still occasionally write letters, especially with my oldest daughter who loves to write. My two oldest kids also love receiving handwritten letters in the mail. When recently offered the chance to review Snail Mail written by Samantha Berger with illustrations from Julia Patton in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to add a new title to my home library.
Currently residing in both New York City and sunny California with her rescued dingo-Chihuahua dog Polly Pocket, award-winning author Samantha Berger has written more than eighty books for children including Crankenstein, Snoozefest, and Martha Doesn’t Say Sorry. She also writes cartoons, commercials, and comics and performs voice-overs. She loves getting handwritten mail, writing letters back, traveling the world, and making new friends.
Currently residing in Northumberland, England, award-winning author and illustrator Julia Patton holds a BA in Textile Design and Embroidery from Manchester Metropolitan University and an MA in Illustration from The University of Edinburgh. She has created more than twenty-five picture books and educational titles published internationally. When not illustrating, she enjoys building tree houses, growing vegetables, and hand making sketchbooks to fill with new stories, characters, and adventures.
Before email and texting, mail was delivered in a much slower way: Snail Mail. Recommended for readers between the ages of 4 and 8 in preschool through third grade, Snail Mail tells the story of a letter was sent by a Girl to the Boy that she loved and delivered across the country by four special snails. The snails determinedly trek across the country — through desert heat and dangerous blizzards, across mountains and plains, through cities and forests — eventually realizing that slowing down and looking around makes the journey more beautiful. The playful and educational story encourages young readers to slow down and to approach life with determination and wonder. The 32-page hardcover picture book with dust jacket currently costs $12.99 on Amazon with a list price of $17.99.
Snail Mail follows the journey of a handwritten letter across the United States, carried by four determined snails. I absolutely love the premise, which helps teach young readers about the world before electronic communications. My oldest daughter still marvels at my childhood, a time without cellphones or computers. The story is quite engrossing, and I have already read the book aloud to my two youngest children many times. My second grader has also read the book quite a few times on her own, giggling at the story of the four snails carrying the mail. I additionally love that the book takes readers on a trip across the diverse American terrain and national monuments from coast to coast.
In addition to the inspiring story, the rich illustrations in Snail Mail bring the story to life and offer a snapshot of the diverse landscape of the United States. The illustration style is soft but colorful and brings the beauty of the country to life. My family has traveled quite a bit, and my kids love pointing out previously visited places in the book such as Las Vegas and Yellowstone. Children and adults alike will delight in the gorgeous celebration of the beauty of American and the power of a simple handwritten letter.
If you are searching for an inspiring book about the power of simplicity and determination, definitely check out Snail Mail written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Julia Patton. The book, recommended for readers between the ages of 4 and 8, tells the tale of a handwritten letter delivered by four special snails who determinedly trek across the country. My oldest daughter loves the premise of the book, and my two younger kiddos enjoy hearing me read the story aloud. I especially love the beautiful illustrations that offer a snapshot of the diverse American landscape. My children and I give Snail Mail eight enthusiastic thumbs up!
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‘Snail Mail’ Book Review © 2018 Heather Johnson
Front Cover of ‘Snail Mail’ © 2018 Heather Johnson
Back Cover of ‘Snail Mail’ © 2018 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Snail Mail’ 1 © 2018 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of ‘Snail Mail’ 2 © 2018 Heather Johnson