Sharing this post on social media? Use this description to make it accessible: [Image description: Illustration from ‘Escargot,’ by Dashka Slater & Sydney Hanson. A snail stares hisses in horror at a pile of carrot slices.]
Recommended for ages 3-7
Raising Luminaries is an interdependent community. Keep these resources free for those who can’t afford a paywall. Maintain this gift to others by joining our Patreon community.Posts may contain affiliate links, which allow me to earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Check out the full affiliate disclosure along with my statement of accountability to see how I experiment with supporting my family without exploiting our community.
Is it offensive for an adorable snail in a picture book…to be French?
Aside from the outfit, and the fact that he’s a gourmand, the book doesn’t reinforce any French stereotypes (so far as I can tell).
So I think it’s…okay? I mean, delicious buttery snails and a salad with a light vinaigrette IS French cuisine, and they are délicieux.
And I really NEED this book to be okay, because I don’t think I can handle it if I have to stop reading it with my kids.
This is, by far, the most adorable, endearing, little book. And the story is HILARIOUS. No book has ever received so many kisses from our family. When Escargot shows off his handsomeness (he’s super body-positive) and tries to scare away a carrot I LOSE IT.
Crying. I laugh so hard I CRY. Every single time.
If you’re actually French and find this book super problematic, I’m open to listening.
BUT ALSO I am crossing my fingers that it’s okay because OH. MY. GOSH. This book is SO FREAKING GOOD.
R2 pulls this book out whenever he’s feeling vulnerable or just needs a good laugh.
I’m pretty sure my terrible French accent for Escargot is problematic, but given France’s history of colonization and genocide and the low rate of hate crimes against French people in the US, let’s consider my linguistic butchering fair play.
Anyhoo – the story is just adorable and lovely. Perfect for those years when kids start to wrestle with self-esteem (around 4+, or forever, if you’re a US president) – including all that comes with it. Insecurity that shows up as obnoxious boasting, desperately needing to be the best, constantly seeking reassurance and praise.
It’s even a bit interactive – Escargot requires the occasional helping hand or reassuring kiss).
You might also like: Books That Make Us Laugh Every Time
How we calculate the overall awesomeness score of books.
Stay Curious, Stand Brave, and laugh so hard you pee a little
I you find my shenanigans helpful and want to keep this website free & accessible for all – join our Patreon community. We’re using the honor system – I create stuff for the world, and some of you help me feed my my kids. So contribute $15, $5, or even just $1 if you can!
But if your resources are limited – first join me in supporting Juxtaposition Arts, a Black-led visual arts center preparing and inspiring young artists in Minneapolis to thrive in creative careers through education and entrepreneurship.