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Monday, September 10, 2018

Sugar and Snails, written by Sarah Tsiang and illustrated by Sonja Wimmer. Annick Press, 2018. $21.95 ages 4 and up

"Hmm. It's about boys
and girls. I think it goes
like this:

What are little boys made of?
Pirates and dogs and noisy

What are little girls made of?
Dresses and sweets and
everything neat."

His grandchildren are quick to quash their grandfather's description.

" I don't wear dresses!"

"And I don't like frogs."

Their disdain for his early perspective sets Grandpa on a new course. Using his imagination, with plenty of humorous touches, he offers descriptions that are sure to amuse those who share this tale of  an aversion to being typecast.

After really listening to what they are saying, Grandpa makes a different suggestion:

"Okay, so boys are
made of cookies
and spice ....

and jump-roping mice?

And girls are made of snails and rocks ...
and butterfly socks!"

Not satisfied, he carries the fun further and further with humor and warmth. The children become active participants in these flights of fancy. Imaginations soars, as do the images created with whimsy and soft colors by Sonja Wimmer. The ideas flow freely, and the details will have little ones poring over all that is happening at every turn of the page. I found myself going back time and again to enjoy the many possibilities. Filled with action and imagination, it ends with the two children conveniently taking apart an embroidered image of the old saying.

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