Snail's legs

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Damian Harvey, ill. Korky Paul
Frances Lincoln Publishers
1845071123
Sep 2006
Potential for animosity and rivalry is instantly outlined in �Snail's Legs� as Damian Harvey explains that whilst Snail was the fastest runner in the whole wood, Frog had been in his younger days� Despite this, however, the two athletes are firm friends. Spirited, though good-humoured teasing is a benchmark of their supportive kinship.

This comfortable idyll, however, is shattered when the King�s Chef relays his need for an animal with very strong legs to help celebrate the King�s birthday. Competitive Frog is desperate to meet the King and it is agreed that a race should be held to discern the fastest runner. Subtle, analogous reference to Feudalism, power and class struggle, form the base to this competition.

In the course of the race, Snail remembers the friendship the two share and, conscious of Frog�s eagerness to meet the King, slows down allowing Frog to win. The King�s Chef escorts Frog to the palace, though Harvey describes with euphemistic abstraction how despite this visit, he never actually got to meet the King�

A heartbroken Snail resolves to wear his running hat on his back and hide his legs inside it by day. Early in the morning, however, one might just see a tiny trail left by the fastest snails as their feet polish the floor on moonlight runs.

A magical convergence, somewhere between a fable and a �just-so� story, �Snail Legs� is one of those rare books that leaves readers feeling privileged to have accessed a secret, hidden world of the 'maybes' of imagination.


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This page contains a single entry by Jacob published on November 16, 2006 8:31 PM.

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