The Snark by Justin Davis – Children’s Book Review

Thanks to Justin Davis and Blue Falcon Publishing  for a copy of this book in exchange for an unbaised review.

Synopsis

“What’s a Snark?” I hear you cry.

Night-time can be scary and this delightfully illustrated story shows us how natural those fears are. Once children can identify and understand their fears, they can begin to overcome them, and we can all have a good night’s sleep! 

This story reveals that when we are brave and face our fears, they are often not as scary as we first thought!

Told in lyrical prose and with a dash of humour, this light-hearted story will help you and your child deal with night-time anxieties in a safe and reassuring way.

My Thoughts

I love a good children’s book and always enjoy Justin’s work.

For me, a good children’s book needs to be fun and pacey, relatable, have discussion provoking artwork and teach a lesson or provide stimulus for conversations.  The Snark ticks all of these boxes and will delight children.

The narrative poem is catchy and rhymes and is told from the perspective of a small child who is wary of everything he can hear and see around the house at bedtime.  This is an experience most children will go through (and some adults I know) and this is a great way of exploring the rational side of it.  It’s a gentle story but teaches children about facing fears and how things are not always as they seem.  

Stephanie Jayne has done a brilliant job illustrating The Snark and really bringing to life a child’s fears through art.  I found the use of shadow in the pictures to really complement the theme of the story as well as support understanding and enjoyment of what was happening.  There’s plenty of detail to engage children in conversation and to extend their thinking too.

One of my favourite parts is the little monster drawing activities in the back – encouraging children to create and draw their own.  This would be a great starting point to draw monsters reflecting their own fears and writing similar stories.

This is such a fun and engaging way to discuss fears, especially around bedtime and I highly recommend it.  

Author Bio – Justin Davis

The fifth children’s book from Northamptonshire-based Justin has been published. His previous books have both attracted praise and won him a rapidly growing young fan base. Escape from Nettle Farm, prequel to Spy Danger, won a Red Ribbon in the 2016 Wishing Shelf Awards, and was a finalist in the 2017 People’s Book Prize. My Bunny, a beautifully illustrated rhyming picture book, was a finalist in the 2017 Wishing Shelf Awards. Justin is currently working on two more books.

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