What Snail Knows (VN)


Click to download Teachers’ Notes

Lucy and Dad move a lot, so it’s hard to make friends.

Lucy’s glad she has Snail, the perfect pet for a lonely girl. If only she had her own shell to hide in every time she started at a new school.

But this place is different. She likes her teacher, Miss Darling. She likes her classmates, especially Tahnee. She even likes Mei-hui’s van park, where she lives with Dad and Snail. This place feels like home. Can she convince her dad to stay?

Exquisitely illustrated by Mandy Foot.
Cover design by Jo Hunt.

RRP $14.95


Click to download


(Click on the links to read the full review.)

Click to hear on ABC.

💗 Allayne Webster; Just devoured this beautiful junior fiction…And oh my heartstrings.

💗 Megan Daley; ‘What Snail Knows’ is verse novel greatness and is full of such heart and soul that I had to devour it in one sitting.

💗 It scored a 5⭐️ review from Momo; ‘there is a raw emotional edge to this book. Your heart will break for Lucy but it will soar when you read about the kindness she encounters … This book is a perfect package.’

💗 Mr7 from @cec_loves_to_read, when asked if he liked it; ‘Yes, it was really good, I liked it, quite a lot actually, it was very good.’ His mum had some lovely things to say, too, including; ‘Highly, highly recommended.’

💗 Kim Yeoman: I am in awe once again of Kathryn Apel’s skill in weaving together similes, metaphors, alliteration, imagery, rhyme and shape poetry with compassion and creativity to tell Lucy’s story.

💗 Lamont: Lucy is a character that you will fall in love with from the start. This story will be thoroughly enjoyed by junior to middle primary level readers.

💗 Barbara Braxton: A most poignant verse novel… a potent story of loneliness, friendship, acceptance, and building and connecting with community.

💗 Sandy Bigna: This beautifully constructed verse novel for younger readers gently illuminates themes of loneliness, belonging, kindness, friendship and family. It will both break your heart and make you smile. Highly recommended for your 7+ reader.

💗 Carissa – Books Kids Love: This book will tug at your heartstrings. And completely unravel them… It’s thoughtful and so beautifully written and sure to help young readers develop empathy too.

💗 Louise Brooks: An extremely poignant and insightful novel created with such lyrical and masterful word imagery… An uplifting and sensitive story that may just bring a tear and a cheer to the reader.

💗 Tania Ingram: Such a beautifully written book with a heart-filled story.

💗 Two Hoots Reviews: With themes of friendship, community and belonging and the concept of helping others and allowing ourselves to be helped is gentle yet memorable. A powerful text to demonstrate young people taking action, eg. beeswax wraps, sorting rubbish and rounding up introduced species. Highly recommend this moving story.

💗 Read Plus: Highly recommended. Lovely themes of community, environment, bravery and belonging wind throughout this gentle and moving story which gives a real insight into what it’s like to be the disadvantaged new kid who doesn’t fit in, and the enormous difference that kindness and friendship can make.

💗 Reading Opens Doors: A stunning verse novel. The varied layout of the verses and poetic devices elevate the story and will pique readers’ interest. Readers will find themselves invested in Lucy, cheering her on and at times shedding tears for her, but ultimately this is a beautiful, hopeful story about vulnerability, having the courage to be open to possibilities and friendships, connecting to community and being yourself.

💗 One More Page – Kate Simpson: What Snail Knows is a gorgeous verse novel about shy, lonely Lucy who moves a lot with her Dad in search of work. Some tough themes, handled in a sensitive and super child-centric way. Recommended!

💗 CBCSA: Calling all readers 8 and above! Get your hands on ‘What Snail Knows’. It is gentle, beautifully illustrated and written in short verses. It explores what a community can do together, includes important info about the environment, and encourages bravery and kindness.

💗 Aussie Reviews: Told using free verse, with occasional shape poems, this a poetic delight, well supported by the gentle illustrations by Mandy Foot.

💗 Tawa Books & Post: So much heart from the verse to the illustrations. The verse is so gorgeously told, it makes me remember the 5/6 year old I once was.