Love, Escargot

Farrar. (Escargot: Bk. 3). Nov. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780374314262.
PreS-Gr 2–The charming Escargot is back for a Valentine’s Day adventure. On his way to a “Snailentine’s Day” party, the well-dressed and mannerly snail breaks the fourth wall and invites readers to participate through movement and dancing. A moment of gentle conflict arises when the party turns out to be hosted by a vole instead of a snail, but Escargot quickly overcomes his shyness and makes a new friend when the delightful Volerie invites him to dance. The snail’s vivacious monologue naturally invites a French-accented read-aloud, and soft, gently textured illustrations add an endearing touch. Though the narrative could easily ride on the sheer cuteness of its protagonist, Slater elevates it by seamlessly incorporating important themes into the lighthearted text. Escargot models kindness, demonstrates how to cope with daunting circumstances, and even introduces healthy relationship standards in a way that feels just right for a young audience: “Your snailentine should be somebody who makes you feel magnifique.”
VERDICT Blending sweetness with substance, Escargot’s third picture book is a surefire hit for Valentine’s Day–themed story times.

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