Monday, October 28, 2013

Whose stealing all the stories?

           "Honesty is the first chapter of the book of wisdom."
                                           ~Thomas Jefferson                     (

Title: The Snatchabook  Who's stealing all the stories?
Author:  Helen Docherty
Illustrator:  Thomas Docherty

This adorable little rhyming fable is sure to become a classic and I would vote a hearty "yes" to have that happen.  The setting is in a sleepy, lazy little nook, named Burrow Down.  All different types of critters live there and they all love to read.  When the lights dim at night all the mom's and dad's tuck their little ones in with a good night bedtime story.  If you could peek into all their cozy homes you would find parents reading aloud and the kids wide-eyed with their ears tuned into every word that is being read to them.

One little bunny, the heroine of the story, Eliza Brown, is happily reading her book before retiring, when suddenly it is snatched away. Gone. Stunned, she cannot figure out how it happened but later discovers that all over Burrow Down books are being stolen by some unknown thief!  Day after day the books vanish until the book shelves are nearly bare.  Everyone is upset and nearly frantic because they do not know what is happening to their precious books.  Bravely Eliza steps forward and purposes to find the culprit and solve this "book stealing" mystery.

She hatches a plan to bait the robber with a huge pile of books and then she stays awake to confront him and tell him of his wrong-doing.  Long hours pass, she nearly falls asleep but suddenly is startled awake by the flapping of wings outside her window.  Is it a bat? Is it a bird?  A huge shadow is cast across her room but she is unmoved....she needs to get to the bottom of this.  She opens her window wide and shouts:

                "Stop stealing all our books,
                  right now!
                  Just them give them back,
                  I don't care how!"

Who, the what, and the why she discovers is not what she expected at all.  Eliza Brown learns some valuable life lessons that night when she comes face to face with the Snatchabook.  She learns not to judge before all the evidence is in and she learns the power of sharing with one less fortunate than herself. Other great lessons are:  you must ask permission to take something before you go ahead on your own and just take it, and always, always right a wrong after it's done.  The best lesson, we the readers can tuck into our hearts is how important it is to spend quality, cuddle time at the end of a long day (or anytime during the day) reading aloud to our little ones.

The illustrations are beautifully executed in a stunning pallet of subdued night tones that are colourful, warm and inviting.  It is a perfect read-aloud and tailor-made for a bedtime story.

About the author:

I was born and grew up in Weymouth, Dorset. As a child, I spent most of time  either reading or writing; from an early age I started making books with my own stories and pictures in them. I took it very seriously and was quite determined that I would be a writer when I grew up.

About the illustrator:

Book Review Rating:  8  (Fantastic!)

Read on and read always!  Have an awesome day.

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