In this ever-expanding digital age, full of “likes” and “follows” and “shares”, the idea of friendship has evolved into something very different. Or has it? In Snutt the Ift, the reader is taken on a journey of discovery that spans the universe and fits inside the heart.
Explorer and dreamer, Snutt, travels far and wide, seeking out the wonders of the universe and cataloging his discoveries. When the beauty of a distant world fills him with loneliness, what is a lonely Ift to do but look up? And what magic is waiting when that look is returned?
This simple, delightful story is paired with illustrations as imaginative as the characters within the pages. Readers of all ages will enjoy finding familiar objects such as pencils and notebooks laid alongside fanciful butterflings and flewimols, and the phrase “blossoming friendship” will take on a whole new meaning.
The layout of the book is very inviting, beckoning readers (and listeners) with its relaxed pace and natural rhythm. The pauses in each sentence create a gentle sense of anticipation, and will give parents and children alike a little extra time to enjoy the artwork on each page.
I shared this story with my four-year-old son, a connoisseur of discovery and exploration. He gleefully pointed out hidden details in the artwork, and was especially delighted with Snutt’s notebook. “He’s makin’ words!” Of course, the proof of the pudding came with his bedtime request. “I wanna read dat book again, please.”
My son is not the only one who feels this way. Snutt the Ift was recently chosen as a Gold Medal Winner, Children’s Picture Books category, in the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards. This is a third honor for Snutt, which won a silver Nautilus Book Award in 2011, and a gold Mom’s Choice Award in 2012.
With more than twenty books to her name, author and illustrator, Helen Ward, uses her inborn love of drawing and an art school background to bring stories to life. Miss Ward has said that she feels “strongly that books can help children make educated choices about things that affect their lives." To this end, she has created a number of works that offer subtle lessons about friendship, imagination, and the balance of nature.
The message in this book is clear without being over the top. Small children will be able to relate to the loneliness of the explorer, while older readers will be charmed by the subtle gesture of friendship made by Snutt’s best discovery.
As a story, Snutt the Ift is a sweet tale of adventure on an emotional level. As a message, it is a gentle reminder that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes.
Audrey Lintner is a homeschooling mother of one, and the owner of what some have called “too many books”. Her weekly column, The Procraftinator, can be found online at www.kofo.com. She currently lives somewhere over the rainbow with her husband and son.
To order a copy of Snutt the Ift, please visit the Little Pickle Press website. Buy one of our award-winning titles as a gift for a friend or family member, and receive 25% off your entire order! This month, show your appreciation by gifting our award-winning books. Just use code LPPFriend12 at checkout.