The Snatchabook

Book review by
Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media
The Snatchabook Book Poster Image
Sweet story of books and forgiveness great for bedtime.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Shows the pleasure of reading and being read to.

Positive Messages
Solving a problem requires being open-minded and understanding. Once Eliza finds out why the Snatchabook is stealing books, she befriends him and helps him make amends.
 
Positive Role Models & Representations
Eliza Brown takes the initiative to solve the mystery, overcoming her fear and treating the Snatchabook with empathy. She helps the creature make up for his misdeeds. The Snatchabook, who didn't intend anyone harm, sets things right.
 
Violence & Scariness
Books disappear into the night during bedtime stories. The earliest glimpses of the Snatchabook might be a bit spooky to sensitive kids.
 
Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Snatchabook is a cozy picture book perfect for reading aloud at bedtime. The nighttime mystery is suspenseful without being scary. The book thief's victims hold him accountable for his misdeeds, then offer him forgiveness and friendship.
 

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What's the story?

Books are mysteriously flying out the windows at bedtime in Burrow Down. Eliza Brown, a brave young rabbit, sets out to solve the mystery. She sets up a towering pile of books as bait and catches a sad little creature: a Snatchabook, who's making off with the children's books because he has no one to read to him. With Eliza's encouragement, he returns all the books to their rightful owners. From then on, he joins the families in Burrow Down at bedtime to hear the stories read aloud.

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Is it any good?

Charming illustrations make THE SNATCHABOOK a bedtime story to treasure. The bouncing, rhyming text by Helen Docherty carries the story along, and the warm illustrations by her husband, Thomas Docherty, bring it to life. What could be more unsettling than having a book spirited away at the very moment children feel safest? The light suspense of the opening pages is banished once the adorable, big-eyed Snatchabook gets his first closeup. 
 
The tale celebrates the cherished family tradition of snuggling together for bedtime stories. It also reassures children that even well-intentioned people make mistakes -- and, more important, that wrongs can be made right. Instead of making the Snatchabook an outcast, the critters in Burrows Down welcome him into their homes and to their families, inviting him to share the warmth of bedtime stories.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Eliza resolves the situation. What might have happened if she didn't find the thief and offer him friendship?
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  • How do the illustrations -- particularly the two-page spread showing the animals talking about the thievery -- show the trouble with rumors? 
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  • The Snatchabook behaved badly because he felt left out and didn't know what else to do. Have you ever made a poor choice because you were lonely?
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