Helen Docherty (text) & Thomas Docherty (illustrations)
(Alison Green Books)
In every house, in every bed,
A bedtime book was being read …
But suddenly the story books begin to disappear. There might just be a book thief on the loose! Eliza Browne is keen to solve the mystery and hatches a plan to catch the culprit … who turns out to be a lonely little Snatchabook, who is desperate to make amends and help Eliza save bedtime stories.
The Snatchabook is undoubtedly one of my favourite picture books of 2013 and one that I wish every little bookworm and bookworm-to-be could get in their Christmas stocking this year. It is a gorgeous ode to snuggling up for storytime and emphasises, with gentle humour, how important this ritual really is. The Snatchabook is the kind of story that just warms your heart and gives such a wonderful and positive message on the power of stories and how they bring us all together. The text is written in rhyme which work well and make a wonderful read-aloud. The artwork is gorgeous and creates a wonderful atmosphere for the story; Thomas Docherty’s illustrations are beautifully whimsical and he makes great use of colour to convey the atmosphere, particularly the blues the dark and coldness of the night as opposed to the yellows which convey not only the brightness of the lights but also the warmth of the inside, reading, in bed.
The Snatchabook might be a thief but readers cannot help but feel empathy for it, as do the characters of the book eventually. Again this is a great message about what loving stories can teach us: to be more empathic, more forgiving and more willing to share. Loving stories and books is also all about the joy of sharing that love, as many readers will be well aware.
The Snatchabook is a celebration of stories and of the special time when those stories are shared between adults and children. The Snatchabook is bereft because it has no one to share stories with, and with statistics showing that parents are claiming that they have less and less time to read to their own children, stories like this are here to remind parents that in fact giving that little time to read a story to their child each night is one of the most important and inspirational gifts they can give them.
The Snatchabook is full of the joys of reading and delight of sharing that unique and wonderful time with loved ones. It is a little bundle of happiness and book love, a real little gem.
Source: review copy from publisher