Fish and Snail live together in their book, and are the best of friends. Every day, Fish goes out to explore the other books, but Snail prefers to wait where it’s safe and quiet until Fish comes home with stories to share. One day, Fish comes to tell Snail that he’s found an amazing book with a vast blue ocean, and pirates! He implores Snail to come with him to see. But Snail doesn’t want to play pirates (they are scary), he wants to pretend to be something safe like kittens instead. Fish snaps at Snail in frustration, and the two get into an argument that ends with Fish storming off to another book. But now Snail misses his dear friend. What is a timid Snail to do?
This is such a wonderfully unique book! The concept of Fish and Snail being characters in a library book that can explore other books is so neat, at gives the story a magical subtext that ignites the imagination. But the core story, that sometimes even best friends will fight, is perfect too. The best part was that the resolution showed compromise between the friends: Snail gathers his courage to follow Fish into the other book because he wants to make his friend happy; and Fish, touched, decides that they can play “kitten-pirate” so Snail feels more comfortable. It’s a great lesson in being compassionate and considerate of one’s friends, and it’s executed beautifully. The art is sweet, soothing, and fits the fantastical elements of the story just right. The length is perfect for baby Bookworm, and JJ loved this one! Totally Baby Bookworm approved!