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Monday, November 4, 2013

The Snatchabook, written by Helen Docherty and illustrated by Thomas Docherty. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, Raincoast. 2013. $19.99 ages 4 and up

"In every house,
in every bed,
a bedtime book
was  being read.
Tales of dragons,
spitting flames;
Witches playing
spooky games;
Pirates on the seven seas;
Princesses trying to sleep
on peas."

Eliza Brown is snuggled down in her burrow with a new favorite book, totally unaware that outside her window strange doings are at work. She doesn't see the Snatchabook fly into town. In every home in the neighborhood books are being read to settled-in children. Eliza is content. Then, in a blink, her book is strange!

Suddenly, all the books in town are disappearing! What is happening? How can it be? Soon, every single book is missing. Where are the book thieves? Why are they taking the books?

Eliza loves books, and she even has a penchant for mystery. She wants her book back, and she wants the booknapping to end as quickly as it began. So, she sets a trap and as she watches a shadow steal across her bedroom floor, she refuses to be frightened:

"She threw the window open wide
and shouted to the Thing outside:
"Stop stealing
all our books,
right  now!
Just give them back,
I don't care how!""

Eliza is sympathetic to the tiny creature who pleads his case from the shadows near her window:

"A tear rolled from the creature's eye,
and softly he began to cry,
"I  know it's wrong, but can't you see -
I've got no one to read to me!"

No book-loving bunny can possibly harden her heart to bedtime with a story. She makes a deal for the return of all the books stolen, and she and the Snatchabook devise a plan that will put things back to normal for all residents of Burrow Down.

This delightful rhyming story will entice and charm everyone who reads it. Add to the mix the snug nighttime feel of the detailed artwork created by the author's husband, and you might just have a new bedtime favorite. It is sure to please! Who's the Snatchabook in your family?

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