The Snail disgraces itself!
A photo captures an embarrassing moment during a book reading at Pelican Flats Public School when the children noticed the sculptured snail accompanying me had moved and left snail trail on the carpet! You will notice the look of mortification on my face as I apologized to the teacher for this breech of etiquette. Although what else would you expect from something rude enough eat someone else’s mail? http://www.pelicanflt-p.schools.nsw.edu.au/cmsresources/pelican-flat-public-school/misc/2014/5/term_2_week_4_1400817089991.pdf
This was only one of the fun episodes that occurred during my week of book readings which included Saint Patrick’s Primary School who enjoyed the book so much they took up my offer of using the book as a fund raising initiative with profits from sales going back into the school to enhance their library. http://www.skoolbag.com.au/app/uploads/6236906Week%204,%20Term%202.pdf.
The children at Blacksmiths Public School displayed beautiful manners and generously shared their travel stories. Caves Beach Uniting Pre-school http://www.cavesbeachunitingps.org.au/ has an enviable garden that I’m sure the Snail would be very happy in and following the response of staff and students to the book I don’t doubt they would welcome the Snail into their fold as graciously as they do all visitors.
At all schools I was overwhelmed with the reception. Initially I envisioned the book’s appeal would be more toward 4-7 year olds; however what I am discovering is the older primary children (9-11 years) are enjoying the book in a different way. For these children the focus is mainly on the travel, the cultural awareness and adventure to be had in different countries. They are willing to explore the ending and in the advent of further mail what it might contain. This was very evident at Caves Beach Public School http://www.cavesbeach-p.schools.nsw.edu.au/gallery/author-visit where senior students were very interactive with both the book and web page. One of the classes enjoyed themselves so much they felt compelled to share an international song they had learnt.
With the schools on the coast a number of staff and students shared how they related to the story because they had or knew someone who had, a snail eating the mail in their letter box.
The final school visited in a very busy week was Gunning Public School http://www.gunning-p.schools.nsw.edu.au/ (newsletters Term 2 no.6). After sharing the story the children were keen to hear some of the different languages and see the beautiful traditional costumes on the books web page.
I am very grateful to the Principals, Librarians and teachers who organized each visit and as a thank you each school received a copy of the book for their library. Hopefully it will help to stimulate the children to want to travel and explore their world.