Snails Are Just My Speed!

Do you know that worms are "50 times faster" than snails? Or that snails use their mucus as sunscreen, to fix broken shells and to "build roads?" Or that the Giant African snail (or Tiger snail "because of its stripes") can "grow to 15 inches long?" With Snails Are Just My Speed!, Kevin McCloskey (Something's Fishy; The Real Poop on Pigeons!) publishes his fourth science-based book in his TOON Books Giggle and Learn series. Starring a talkative snail and three science-enthralled kids, Snails Are Just My Speed! uses short sentences, diagrams, illustrations and humorous speech bubbles to describe mollusc life. Additional materials in the back of the book, including a "snails are fun to draw!" drawing guide, may help pique young readers' interest, and parents and teachers will appreciate a "how to read comics with kids" page of reading tips.

McCloskey's signature cartoon-like illustrations are expressive, bringing life to the funny and gross-out facts on every page. His level one "easy-to-read comics," which combine the appeal of graphic novels with the age-appropriate content and text of picture books, use comedy and cool science to draw in reluctant and emerging readers. With information both icky ("Humans make four cups of mucus every day!") and fascinating ("Snails shoot arrows at each other before they make babies. The story of Cupid's arrows may have come from snails' 'love darts' "), you can bet that even the most hesitant kids will want to read all about sensational snails. --Jennifer Oleinik, freelance writer and editor

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