Our Beach / Walter the Wonder Snail

Our Beach
Rebecca Smith and Zoe Waring
Harper Collins Children’s Books

It’s wonderful what a collection of bits and pieces can lead to and that’s what we discover in this story of a little girl and her granddad who spend the day together.

As the book opens we see the two hand in hand, grandad carrying a large bag, making their way towards the sea shore.

They enjoy exploring rock pools, collecting seashells and pebbles and most important each other’s company.

Then comes a sudden change and a spread shows what is really happening before the flights of fancy recommence, and with them, the resurfacing of precious memories. It’s Gran’s “Time for our tea!” announcement that brings the two back to reality,

somewhat reluctantly perhaps as they eek out their imaginative experience for as long as they can before sitting down to share the tasty meal set out on the table.
A delightful celebration of the power of the imagination and a special intergenerational bond.

Walter the Wonder Snail
Neil Clark
Happy Yak

Tired of the tedium of leaves, Walter the Snail believes there must be more to life; he longs to escape the confines of his leafy existence and discover what the wider world offers. With hat atop his horns and shell packed, off he slides into the great unknown.

Our intrepid traveller faces challenges aplenty on his journey, but there are plenty of other creatures ready and willing to offer encouragement and help.

Nonetheless Walter is also able to adapt to a variety of terrains and weather conditions,

and to think outside the box, especially when it comes to making his way back home.

On his return Walter imparts some wise words to his fellow snails: “I know that anyone can do anything they put their mind to.You’ve just got to think big!” That’s a vital life lesson for young humans too and one they’ll learn subconsciously through Neil Clark’s wise words and his diverting, richly coloured, scenes of Walter’s travels. I love the variety of viewpoints and page layouts.

Rich in classroom potential but above all, a thoroughly enjoyable story.

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