How to Party Like a Snail

Hrab, Naseem. How to Party Like a Snail. Toronto: Owlkids, 2022.
Friends. Fun. Confetti. Cakes. Snail loves parties! If only they weren’t so noisy. It’s time for Snail to hold his own party. He and his friend Stump play hide-and-seek, tell jokes, listen to lullabies, put on their pyjamas, and fall asleep. A quiet party: perfect for a snail! This delightful picture book – cheerfully illustrated by Kelly Collier – will be enjoyed by readers four to eight years old and by everyone of any age who prefers a life with less noise.

More books by Canadians

More picture books

Christmas time is here…

…and maybe you agree with Lucy in A Charlie Brown Christmas:

“Look, Charlie, let’s face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket.”

Then why not leave the stores and go home to a good book?


Here are a few of my Christmas favourites…

On Angel Wings

Morpurgo, Michael. On Angel Wings. Candlewick Press, 2006. (Illustrated by Quentin Blake)

Stick Man

Donaldson, Julia. Stick Man. New York : Arthur A. Levine Books, 2008.


A Christmas Story

Wildsmith, Brian. A Christmas Story. Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 1998.


More Christmas books

More stories about the first Christmas


Watts, Bernadette. Varenka. New York: North South, 2022.
What is a miracle? What happens when we pray?
Varenka, a widow, lives deep in a forest, far from other people. But war is coming and she must decide: should she flee? She thinks. If she leaves, who will take care of the animals and feed the birds in winter? Who will take care of the people wandering through the woods? She decides to remain. People seeking shelter do arrive and soldiers with guns arrive. And a miracle occurs. Or is it a coincidence? An answer to prayer or pure good luck? Readers will have to decide for themselves after reading this beautiful picture book by an accomplished British author and illustrator. Highly recommended for all ages.

P.S. Readers who appreciate books by Brian Wildsmith, might like to know that this author studied under him for a time. You may enjoy comparing the styles of artwork.

More books about faith

More books to prompt philosophical conversations

More winter stories

More stories set in Russia

A Tulip in Winter

Stinson, Kathy. A Tulip in Winter: A Story About Folk Artist Maud Lewis. Vancouver: Greystone Kids/Greystone Books, 2023.
Sunshine in darkness. Joy in the midst of hardship. The story of the Canadian artist from Nova Scotia has been told many times but never more lyrically than in this engaging picture book. Maud Lewis, born in 1903, developed debilitating rheumatoid arthritis as a child. Despite pain and poverty, she spent her life painting cheerful pictures on furniture, walls, windows, scraps of wood and cardboard, and everything else around her. She died in 1970, having never sold any of her work for more than ten dollars. Today, her paintings sell for tens of thousands of dollars. This beautifully designed picture book – with a cheerful font and full-page illustrations by Lauren Soloy – is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys biographies and appreciates excellent writing.

More biographies of artists

More books by Canadian writers and illustrators


What are you like?

Grade seven students describe themselves using similes…

“I am like the ocean. People only know a little bit about me.”

“I am like a map. At first, I’ll be confusing. Figure me out and you will understand completely.”

“I am like the wind. I cannot keep going for a long time in the same direction. I need to try different things in different ways. I have to keep moving forwards or I don’t feel right.”


Aren’t those wonderful descriptions?

Don’t they make you curious to learn more about the writers?

Find more similes and metaphors in these picture books…


Then, read these picture books to discover other powerful literary techniques.



Some People

Some People

Isn’t it strange some people make

You feel so tired inside,

Your thoughts begin to shrivel up

Like leaves all brown and dried!


But when you’re with some other ones,

It’s stranger still to find

Your thoughts as thick as fireflies

All shiny in your mind! 

– Rachel Field

From A Child’s Anthology of Poetry edited by E. H. Sword (Scholastic, 1995).

More poems to read aloud