4.06.2018

PPBF: Snail Mail



Title: Snail Mail
Author: Samantha Berger
Illustrator: Julia Patton
Publisher: Running Press Books
Birthday: May 1, 2018
Suitable for: grades K - 3rd
Themes: letter writing, mindfulness, perseverance 
Brief synopsis: When Girl writes a note to Boy who lives across the country, four faithful snails offer to deliver it for her.
Opening page: A long, long time ago, but really not THAT long, before e-mail and texting, clicking and sending, mail was delivered in a much different way. A much slowwwwwwwwwer way. It was called Snail Mail.

Resources: Visit the author's page {here}.
Check out a Kirkus review {here}.

Why I like this book: From the author of Martha Doesn't Share and many other strong titles, Snail Mail seems on the surface to just be a silly snail tale. But take a deeper look as you journey with the snails on their priority-mail delivery expedition and you'll find lots of discussion points to ponder:
some poetry,
{Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor hail
could stop those snails from bringing the mail.
crazy weather patterns,
{Sometimes it poured. Sometimes it blizzarded.
Sometimes it got blazing hot. Sometimes it pelted ice.
geographical landmarks,
{Vegas, Jackson Hole, Yellowstone
and mindfulness suggestions
{... there was something special about slowing down ...
all embedded into this creative newcomer. 
I especially like the idea of slowwwwwwwing down, 
of looking around and noticing.

When we first got this van from New York five years ago, 


I was pretty sure I'd never seen a Honda van in that color.
Ever.
Pretty sure we didn't have them here in TX.
I was excited to have a one-of-a-kind.
Until the drive home.
That afternoon I saw at least five other vans
that very same color,
simply because I was noticing.

Use this story to encourage your learners to
slow down long enough to notice stuff.
Take them outside and play I Spy looking for certain colors.
How many blue things can they spot?
Then how many red?
How many green?
Noticing things will awaken their senses,
a nice segue into what they're smelling.
Consider the reference in the book to a letter
smelling like the person who sent it.
What do they notice that smells like someone?
Or something?
A memory maybe?
There's a certain smell that always takes me back
to northern Wisconsin
and makes me think of camping.
I love it when that scent wafts in the air.
I think it's some sort of a pine tree.
Let this treasure open up a rich discussion
on mindfulness.
Finally, use this mentor text as a springboard for,
you guessed it,
a letter-writing unit.
Find out first if they even know how much
postage for a first-class letter costs.
Teach them how to address an envelope.
Encourage them to write a note to a far-away friend
or a relative they've not heard from in awhile.
Or have them write to their parents or grandparents
who live close by, just for fun.
You could even find a class of kids in the same grade
and ask them to be Pen Pals
like we're planning to do with a group of
fifth-grade girls up in MA.
So many enrichment possibilities.

Check out this special delivery;
it's a whimsical parody that you won't want to miss.

Then visit Susanna Hill's blog for today's other PPBF picks
  





6 comments:

  1. Snail Mail looks adorable! I love the letter writing connection (a lost art) which is a good tie in for teachers and parents. I added this book to my watch list!

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  2. That one line, "there was something special about slowing down ..." won me over. I'm looking forward to my visit to the library today and hope, hope, hope they have a copy of this book. It's when we take a little extra time and care that we notice the details and enjoy activities more. This sounds like a special book.

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  3. What an interesting book. I am looking forward to reading it.

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  4. What a charming book. And, your suggested activities are excellent. Kids today are missing out on a lot of nostalgic things that we had growing up. I remember the excitement of getting a letter in the mail, or mailing a handwritten letter. That's why I still send birthday, holiday cards and post cards to our great grandchildren so that they know what it's like to get a receive mail. Great share.

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  5. I received my copy of this book yesterday, but will hold off my review for a few weeks. I love how you have featured it here, and its multiple layers.

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  6. Sounds like a cute take on "snail mail." I wish letter writing was more in practice these days. :)

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I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!

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