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Friday, October 25, 2013

The Snatchabook Blog Tour {Review and Interview}

I'm so so excited to have The Snatchabook Blog Tour stopping by today with my review* of this adorable picture book and my interview with author Helen Docherty...

The Snatchabook
by Helen & Thomas Docherty
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Where have all the bedtime stories gone?

One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down...when a Snatchabook flew into town.

It's bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza Brown decides to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.

Find the book: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / IndieBound

I received an egalley of this book in exchange for my honest review

I LOVED The Snatchabook! Helen and Thomas Docherty have woven a truly charming, utterly delightful tale about the love and pure joy of reading and books. Books start to disappear right off shelves in Burrow Down and little Eliza Brown sets out to catch the tricky thief. But what she finds is the Snatchabook!

Told in whimsical, lyrical rhymes, The Snatchabook’s story flows effortlessly and is really amusing. I found the voice and storytelling addicting and pitch-perfect for little readers. The idea of a “Snatchabook” is wonderfully imaginative and original, and this little creature will captivate readers of all ages! And I totally relate to the Snatchabook! I mean who doesn’t want to snatch up ALL the books for themselves sometimes? I also love how clever and determined Eliza Brown is in her quest to capture the book theif. The awesomeness and power of books and reading really shines through in this story.

Thomas Docherty’s illustrations capture the story beautifully. There’s something very magical and fanciful about the bright illustrations that I love. Thomas gives each character and scene such life and personality!

The Snatchabook is bound to become a bedtime favorite that little readers will want to hear again and again (and grown-ups will actually enjoy reading it over and over again!). I can’t wait to get a physical copy to read to my niece!

What three words best describe THE SNATCHABOOK?

Whodunnit with twist!

Grab a copy of THE SNATCHABOOK and answer the following:
Favorite page?
Favorite illustration?
Flip to a random page and give us a 2-4 lines teaser?
My favorite page and favorite illustration coincide: it would have to be the second spread (“In every house, in every bed, / a bedtime book was being read”). I think this is the page that sets up the rest of the story, and I love the visual contrast between the warm yellow glow of the animals’ bedrooms and the cold light of the moon, with the sad and lonely Snatchabook silhouetted against it. Our daughters love looking at all the creatures in their homes and deciding where they would choose to live.

Some of Thomas Docherty's early illustrations for The Snatchabook

My random 2 line teaser:
“I’m sorry,” came a little voice. / “I really am. I had no choice.”

What inspired this story? How did the Snatchabook creature come to life?

The idea of a book thief who steals children’s bedtime stories popped into my head at the end of a long day of trying (and failing) to think up interesting storylines. But what should I call it? A book cruncher? A book snatcher? No, a Snatchabook! Almost immediately, I saw the potential to develop the story as a mystery with plenty of suspense, a brave heroine and a twist in the tale – namely, that the Snatchabook is just a pitiful little creature, whose motivation for stealing all the books is simply that he is desperate to be read to. Of course, the Snatchabook really came to life when Tom started to draw him – we had lots of fun discussing what he should look like. Here are Tom’s earliest sketches:

If you were a Snatchabook, what three books would you snatch up?
That’s a very difficult question! But if I were a Snatchabook, I might just choose these ones:

The Bear’s Winter House by John Yeoman and Quentin Blake, which is my favorite woodland story to snuggle up with. The combination of Yeoman’s gentle humor and Blake’s pictures is unbeatable.

Out and About by Shirley Hughes, which follows the natural cycle of a year through the eyes of two young children. To me, this book is brilliantly evocative of childhood and of the passing seasons.

The Paper Dolls by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb, which is a beautiful, deceptively simple book about memory, loss, and love. It’s a new favorite in our house.

If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by THE SNATCHABOOK what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

I have to confess that I would never win any prizes in a cupcake baking (or decorating) competition. However, your question inspired me to try out a new recipe and experiment with my own topping…
I thought a Snatchabook cake should have a bit of a woodland flavour, so I adapted a Delia Smith recipe for chestnut cupcakes (using about two thirds of a tin of crème de marrons, or sweetened chestnut purée). For the topping, I melted dark chocolate, stirred in some double cream and mixed with the rest of the chestnut purée. I thought some white chocolate buttons on the top might look like Snatchabook wings, but actually they made the cupcakes look more like chocolate aliens. Oh well.  They taste nice, anyway. What would I call this cupcake? A Snatchacake – of course.

Helen's Snatchacake cupcake!

Thank you so much, Helen, for stopping by! That cupcake looks and sounds delicious!

FIND THE AUTHOR website * goodreads

*Please note that I do not rate picture books, I merely review them

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