Tired of his daily course of salad, however magnifique, Escargot crawls to the library to find a cookbook. He meets a reader along the way and, although he promises not to distract, engages her in his quest for the perfect cookbook. This quest evolves into a “how-to” book of sorts as Escargot details his journey, while satisfying his desire to be represented in a tale. After all, why shouldn’t he be the hero of a story like all the other creatures he encounters? This tale by Slater and Hanson, can be used to satisfy many purposes. Use it as the endearing tale it is simply for a great read-aloud. Use it as a mentor text for writer’s workshop. Use it as a text with which students can connect as you continue those conversations about differences, equity, and mindfulness. Use it for its illustrative beauty, and its surprise ending.
Here’s what kindergartners had to say…
“I saw that show Ratatouille! Yeah and it was French too. Only it was a rat and not a snail.”
“My family is French.” (This student translated the French words in the story for the class)
“People eat snails! That’s nasty!” (This led to a discussion about culinary preferences and polite ways to state opinions.)
“I have a book at my house that has a story about me. It has my name in it, but I didn’t write it.”
“You could write a story about anything like what you do at you house, or somewhere you go, or a story from your imagination.”