Little Miss and I, as regular readers will know, spend a lot of time reading books together but we recently discovered a different way to share a story. We were sent a link to a new online interactive illustrated children’s story called A New Home for Snailbow.
Snailbow has magic multi-coloured skin but is unhappy with his ‘sad’ grey shell so goes on a quest to find a new, more appealing, home. Along the way he meets Mr Turtle, Mrs Armadillo and Mr Crab before finally Wise Old Owl makes him realise that really he was happy as he was all along.
The story is set to music and animated, with the reader moving the Snailbow character along by using the scroll function. Once I’d got to grips with the scrolling and got the speed right – perhaps give yourself a few minutes practice before showing it to an inpatient toddler – we really enjoyed it.
Snailbow is a great little character, with his special skin changing colour as he moves along, and Little Miss sat quietly transfixed through the whole thing, without trying to bash the laptop keyboard or press any buttons, which is a rarity! And since she loves owls the final character was a big hit (cue lots of pointing and shouts of ‘owl, owl!’). As a parent, I liked the gentle ‘grass isn’t always greener’ moral to the story.
Snailbow was created by 23-year-old digital designer Jack Wild. It’s something he’s done in his free time and is totally non-commercial.
Jack says: “Illustration is a hobby of mine. I really like to try out lots of different styles, and snails are my go-to animal of choice when it comes to illustration (don’t ask)! I originally made a little story which was actually for adults, in the style of a children’s story, and the snail meets an unfortunate end, so it was dark humour. But then I felt guilty and thought it would be perfect to grow the idea into a children’s story instead, with a happy ending! So I developed the story and characters, and was working on it a couple of months in the evenings.”