Friday, April 24, 2020

Express Delivery! Snail Crossing by Corey R. Tabor

Why does the snail cross the road?

...a field of plump, crisp cabbage just across the road.

"You won't stop me!" said Snail to the road.

But determination is one thing. Nature is another. Snails are slow. And the truth is that although a field of cabbages represents a lifetime supply of delicious dining, a snail looks much the same way to a flock of hungry crows who know that snails are an irresistible tidbit that can't bite or fight back!

Still, snail has a roomy shell in which he can hunker down to discourage crows, but his crooked trail is slow, and there's traffic traveling that road, too. Luckily. the trucks straddle his trail and while he survives squashing, the crows take it on the lam!

But then a bossy trail of ants try to pass rudely.
"Hey! You! You're standing in our way!

We got a road to cross here!" yelled a troop of rowdy ants

But before the right-of-way conflict comes down to even more unpleasantness, a sudden rainstorm pours down on them all. Generous snail offers shelter to all beneath his shell. And when the storm abates, the ants are grateful and invite Snail into their underground nest for tea and sympathy.
"Sorry... about earlier. Sometimes we get a bit antsy," said the ants.

And then Snail told them about his destination in the fertile field of cabbages. He can't wait for a juicy bite of cabbage leaf. He hits the road and hustles across the asphalt, only to discover that he's hustled diligently right back to the side of the road where he started.
But what was that on the horizon?

The Cabbage was coming to Snail!

Who is that rushing to his relief, bearing a large cruciferous vegetable?

It's United Ant Express to the rescue, in Corey R. Tabor's just-published Snail Crossing (Balzer and Bray, 2020), in which snail and ants end up with all the cabbage they can eat and in good company besides.

Tabor's new story of one good deed leading to another is just right for the preschool-primary set, one that echoes Aesop's fable's message, done with jolly pencil and wash illustrations filled with activity and expression, charm and humor. Great fun for read-alouds, with a chance to observe who first points out the page where Snail takes his wrong turn! Publishers Weekly adds that Tabor's snail tale ... "presents a pink protagonist who’s an endearing mix of stubborn and openhearted, with eye stalks that are by turns steely and befuddled."

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