Friday, July 26, 2019

Review - Sophie's Shell

Sophie's Shell (Once Upon a Garden)
by Jo Rooks
Date: 2019
Publisher: Magination Press
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Discover a world of lovable creatures in the Once Upon a Garden series.

Sophie was always ponders big questions, like:
Why is the sky blue?
Why are raindrops wet?
and What are stars made of?

But when Sophie starts school, there's a wobbly feeling in her tummy and she can't help popping back into her shell. She is left with one big question: Why am I so shy?

When Sophie meets Stanley, she realizes that she's not the only one who feels shy. Can she gain the confidence to help a new friend?

A heart warming tale about a sensitive snail who overcomes her shyness with a little help from her new friends.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

Sophie's Shell is about a little snail named Sophie who starts school and must face her newfound shyness with the help of a friend.

I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit. Often, I'm not that impressed with books that tackle emotional subjects with the aim of "helping" kids; they usually seem like they're trying too hard. But this book is pretty cute. I loved Sophie's classmates (all creepy-crawlies you might find in a garden), and the writing was fairly strong. If I have one complaint, though, it's with Sophie's defense mechanism, at least at first. When she feels shy, she suddenly (and involuntarily) retracts into her shell. This is accompanied by the word "Pop!" The first time it happened, though, it took me a moment to realize what was going on. After the pop, we see Sophie's shell, but not her head. The text doesn't say anything like, "She popped back into her shell!" so the reader needs to be paying attention to the pictures. (It's definitely not going to work as an audiobook.)

Overall, though, this is a cute story with fun illustrations about overcoming shyness and fear with the help of friends. It might be a good choice for shy kids who are just starting out at school as a tool for reassurance.

Thank you to NetGalley and Magination Press for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 3/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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