Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of The Snurtch

ferrell_snurchThe Snurtch
by Sean Ferrell; 
illus. by Charles Santoso
Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    40 pp.
8/16    978-1-4814-5656-2    $17.99    g
e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5657-9    $10.99

In this author-illustrator team’s (I Don’t Like Koala, rev. 3/15) second book, Ruthie, a wide-eyed, snub-nosed child with pigtail tufts that stick straight up, “has a problem at school.” And it’s a big one. Think imaginary friend meets Inside Out meets the old devil-made-me-do-it excuse, and voilà, you’ve got the Snurtch. Ruthie’s Snurtch is a not-too-scary monster with spiky red, orange, and yellow fur that calls to mind a fiery temper, and atop its head are two tiny tufts of hair that mimic Ruthie’s hairdo. Whenever she loses control of her emotions and acts out, the Snurtch is to blame, or so says Ruthie. And Ferrell’s text backs her up. It’s the Snurtch who is “grabby and burpy and rude.” Not Ruthie. It’s the Snurtch who’s “truly terrible.” Not Ruthie. Santoso’s illustrations, on the other hand, show quite a different story, but it’s one that Ruthie herself can’t see, at least not at first. Portrayed with humor and empathy, Ruthie’s challenges with regulating emotions and behavior will provoke plenty of discussion — even among the youngest of listeners.

From the July/August 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

About Tanya D. Auger

Tanya D. Auger is a former middle school teacher with a master’s degree in learning and teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Share
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*