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Posted by on in Dashka's Blog
The Amazing Escargot Story Hour Kit

The Official Not-To-Be-Missed Escargot launch party will be held at 3pm on April 9, 2017 at Mrs. Dalloway's Books in Berkeley, California. But what if you can't make it? No need to cry, scream, and gnash your teeth. We have many Escargot events planned this spring. I've listed some of them below, but check the calendar to see them all as we're adding new ones all the time. 

"But," you say. "But what if I want to hold my very own Escargot storytime at my very own library or bookstore or even just with my very own children? What if I want to have an Escargot-themed birthday party, complete with games and prizes? What if I want to dress up as Escargot for Halloween, or just to go to work? What THEN?"

Relax, honey-bunch. Escargot and I have got you covered. 

Story Hour Kit cover

You can now download, straight from the MacMillan website, a gorgeous, fun-filled, action-packed Escargot Story Hour Kit and host your own Escargot party whenever you like! The kit features everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, you might possibly need to have the snailiest, Frenchiest, funnest event of your ever-loving life. The only other things you'll need are the book and some children. However, if you think you'd also like a snail costume and some snail cookies, well, I'll be adding information about those very soon.

What's in this storyhour kit, you ask?

- A poster for advertising your event

- A list of everything you'll need to have on hand

- A super fun finger-play that I wrote just for this book

- A snail tentacle template for making snail headbands

- A snail racing game with adorable snail standees to use

- A list of fascinating snail facts with which to amuse and impress your friends

Now, I know what your next question will be. "Are there enough snail facts to completely fill my mind with all the snail-based trivia I need?" The answer, sadly, is no. And that's not because the story hour kit is in any way faulty. It is simply that the world of the gastropod is so incredibly full of wonder and marvel that no single fact sheet can possibly satisfy the yawning curiosity most of us feel about all things Snail. Thus, I promise that this blog will continue to be filled with fascinating snail tidbits for weeks to come. Stay tuned. 

In the meantime, the Escargot Story Time Kit awaits you. Please email me through the Contact form on this website to share photos of your fabulous Escargot events! And check out the events below and on the calendar to find one near you!

Upcoming Events:

 

Sunday, April 9, 3:00 PM

Escargot Launch Party

Mrs. Dalloway's Bookstore

2904 College Ave, Berkeley, CA

 

Wednesday, April 12, 11:00 AM

The Reading Bug

785 Laurel Street, San Carlos, CA

 

Tuesday, April 18, 4 PM

Copperfield’s Books

140 Kentucky Street, Petaluma, CA

 

Saturday, April 24, 11:00 AM

Green Bean Books

1600 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR

 

Saturday, May 6

Turn the Page Festival

Children's Fairyland

Oakland, CA

 

Sunday, May 7 11:00 AM

Books Inc, Burlingame

1375 Burlingame Ave, Burlingame, CA

 

Saturday, May 13, 12:00 PM

Napa Bookmine, Oxbow Public Market

610 First Street, Shop 4, Napa, California

 

Sunday, May 21

Oakland Book Festival

1 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, California

 

Friday, June 2

BookExpo America

Javits Center, New York, NY

 

Sunday, June 4

Bay Area Book Festival

Berkeley, CA

Posted by on in Dashka's Blog

As a journalist, I'm constantly juggling deadlines, scanning social media for updates, and trying to find a few quiet minutes to write. So when 24Life asked me to write about busyness, I found myself deeply intrigued by the topic. You can read what I learned about getting out of the busyness trap here:

Posted by on in Dashka's Blog
BONJOUR, ESCARGOT!

My new picture book, Escargot, will be released on April 11 and it is already getting a wonderful response. 

That's no surprise to Escargot, of course. He already knew he was the world's most beautiful French snail!

His opinion was confirmed today when Escargot received his first starred review, from the March issue of the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. Naturally he feels humbled, if "humbled" is what you are when you make people read the review to you over and over and then you say, "Moi? Parfait? Engaging? Jaunty? Do you think so? Let's read it again." 

Not only that, but he's on the Top Ten Indie Next List for Spring, which means you can find him at all your favorite independent bookstores.

 

In fact, you can find both of us -- as we have an action packed schedule of Spring appearances. Check out the calendar and this space for details!

Here's the BCCB review in full:

 

★    ESCARGOT

Author: Dashka Slater

Illustrator: Sydney Hanson

 

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux

Pages: 40

Price (Hardcover): $16.99

Publication Date: April 2017

ISBN (Hardcover): 9780374302818

 

R*

 

Our self-assured narrator may have no shortage of ego (“I am such a beautiful French snail that everybody stares at me”), but one thing makes him very sad: “Nobody ever says their favorite animal is the snail.” Escargot hasn’t given up hope, though, trying to convince the listener of his suitability for favorite via flattery, unexpected ferocity, and a swift race to the salad at the end of the book. Escargot’s voice is parfait, an airy blend of ego and need masterfully balanced in witty and well-turned sentences that leave plenty of room for audiences to get the joke. Cues for interaction (“Can you also make a fierce face to scare away the carrot? Maybe we should roar at it, too?”) are unexpected yet playful, with additional humor in the snail’s engaging responses. Trim, controlled pencil and watercolor art gives Escargot the inevitable French sailor’s shirt, neckerchief, and teeny beret, but the jaunty guy’s wide, sincere eyes reveal the depth of his yearning snail soul—and make for some great comic faces. The neat regularity of the art mirrors the tonal control of the text while adding some clever touches, such as the snail’s loving gaze at himself in a glass tumbler or his casual recline upon a wine cork. Haul out your best Pepe Le Pew cartoon French for this gastropod confectionery. DS

Posted by on in Dashka's Blog
The Uncomfortable Truth About Children's Books

Mostly my career as a journalist and my career as a children's book writer are pretty separate. But recently I wrote a Mother Jones magazine piece about the attempts to diversify children's literature. I found it tough to wear both hats -- writer and reporter -- simultaneously, and found it occasionally uncomfortable to be covering territory so close to home. But I'm pleased with the piece, which has generated lots of conversation. You can find it here.

Can you help find studio space for the Dangerously Ever After Stop Motion Film?

Things are moving along with the The Dangerously Ever After stop-motion film -- the voice actors have recorded their parts, the props and sets are under construction, and the animators have been innovating some new and wonderful techniques for bringing Princess Amanita and Prince Florian to life.

Check out this test animation.

But there's a hitch. As the film has gotten more ambitious, the sets have gotten too big for Alba Garcia Rivas's current studio. She desperately needs a new space large enough to fit all the sets during the year that she is animating.

And, as you know if you followed the crowd-funding campaign -- the budget's limited. Can you help her find an affordable space? She's offering credits on the film plus other goodies.

Please spread the word to anyone you know who might have an unused space in the Bronx area.
Call-718-908-1553
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