Snail Mail (Samantha Berger)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Snail Mail, written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Julia Patton, a charmingly original tale about four diligent mail carriers who just so happen to be snails.

Before the days of emails and digital communication, there was a thing called Snail Mail – actual, physical letters and packages sent from one person to another. And to this day, most people agree that some things are just better when sent by Snail Mail – for instance, the letter that a little girl in California is sending to a boy in New York. She made it herself, wrote it in her own hand, it even smells a little like her. Such a thing simply can’t be sent by computer, so she enlists the dedicated Snail Mail carriers: Dale Snail, Gail Snail, Col. McHale Snail, and Umbérto. The four plucky creatures carry the girl’s letter across the United States, seeing deserts, mountains, plains, and wonders both natural and man-made. At last, they deliver the letter to its recipient and are rewarded handsomely for their efforts.

A cute story with some great lessons. The main theme is a reminder that faster isn’t always better: the hand-made letter, how much the snails enjoy the sights and experiences of their journey – these are good lessons in both the virtues and rewards of patience. The character art is adorable, and imbues the friendly-looking snails with personality and charm throughout, and has some lovely, subtle details and visual gags. A few complaints: I’m not wild about children being represented as having romantic relationships in general, and that was undeniably shown here. Also, there were some spots in the art that seemed oddly pixelated, but this is likely a formatting or printing error. But overall, a pretty darn sweet story with a great lesson in slowing down to appreciate the world around us. Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)