The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty & Thomas Docherty
Age Range: 3 – 6 years
Hardcover: 32 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky (October 1, 2013)
Genre: Picture book
Source: Publisher for tour
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars
About the Book:
Where have all the bedtime stories gone?
dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a
book and settled down…when a Snatchabook flew into town.
bedtime in the woods of Burrow Down, and all the animals are ready for
their bedtime story. But books are mysteriously disappearing. Eliza
Brown decides to stay awake and catch the book thief. It turns out to be
a little creature called the Snatchabook who has no one to read him a
bedtime story. All turns out well when the books are returned and the
animals take turns reading bedtime stories to the Snatchabook.
Sourcebooks Announces that
The Snatchabook is #1 on the Autumn 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List!
by U.S. Booksellers from the top children’s and young adult titles for this
you to try to read The Snatchabook silently to yourself. You can’t do
it. The book is so wonderful it demands
to be read out loud.”—Brian Selznick, author and illustrator of The Invention of Hugo Cabret
husband-and-wife team of the Dochertys have a winner in this heartwarming
tribute to the essential role of bedtime reading in the lives of families.” —Publishers Weekly
with an uplifting ending will appeal to fans of How the Grinch Stole
Christmas! . . . [it] celebrates bedtime reading as a ritual to be revered, and features a
thief who merely wants to share in the fun.” —Shelf
“The story is sweet and the illustrations
“With rhyming text reminiscent of Dr.
Seuss’s work, this book refuses to be read silently. . . The gorgeous
illustrations are a perfect match for the lively text. This book is a fabulous
fit for both storytime and one-on-one reading. Children will be begging for
this book to be read to them every night–clever ones will claim they want to
keep the Snatchabook happy. A first purchase for libraries everywhere.” —School
ever-so-sweet story begs to be read out loud. The beautifully lit illustrations
are full of fun details that are sure to please little kids, and each creature,
from owl to squirrel, is cute as cute can be. No doubt this one will be a hit
with kids and parents alike.” —Booklist
About the Author and Illustrator:
Helen Docherty has spent most of her career as a language teacher, most
recently specializing in Spanish. She lives in Swansea, Wales with her
husband and co-author, Thomas, and their two young daughters.
Docherty studied metalwork and sculpture at college before becoming an
illustrator of children’s book. He lives in Swansea, Wales with his
wife and co-author Helen and their two young daughters. His website is
How Thomas Docherty Created the Art
From Tom: The Snatchabook was a real pleasure to illustrate, as well as a lot of work. In fact, at the time of illustrating, it was probably the most complicated book I had done, because of having to create Burrow Down as well as all the woodland creatures that lived there. I always start with a lot of pencil sketches, and although the Snatchabook came quite quickly, Eliza took a lot longer to develop as a character. At one point, I thought she was going to be a badger!
Once I was happy with the characters and where they lived, I started to plan out the story page by page. I talked through the roughs a lot with Helen and the publishers until everyone was happy and then I started on the final artwork.
I still work in quite a traditional way. I love the physicality of the tubes of paint, bottles of colored ink, and thick watercolor paper. First I trace my rough drawings onto watercolor paper with acrylic ink and a dip pen using a light box. Then I stretch the paper and when it is dry, I begin to paint washes of color using watercolor.
It was a lot of fun getting the feeling of suspense into the pictures, trying to make them edgy but not scary. I also love dramatic lighting, so I made sure I had plenty of cold moonlight outside the burrows and warm, cozy lamps inside. The windswept clouds and twisty trees were painted with a lot of dry brushwork and the cold blues in the book are some of my favorite colors.
The Snatchabook is a very rich story, full of drama, emotion and warmth and I hope that I manage to get all of those across to the reader in my illustrations.
I read dozens of picture books each week to my kids. The vast majority of
them are not worth reviewing. Some of them are worth a mention, and
every now and then, my kids and I fall in love with a story. The
Snatchabook is a fall in love kind of book. It’s the kind of book that I
could see sticking around for a long time because the people that buy this book will put it on their shelves, read it to their kids, and love it to pieces. I love it. My kids love it.
They ask to read it every night before bed.
The text is written in rhyming verse. When rhyme is done right, the way it is in The Snatchabook, it’s my
favorite way to read a picture book.
The illustrations are
outstanding. Thomas Docherty’s style is warm and expressive. He gives
personality to his characters and breathes life onto the page. I love
This is one of my favorite picture books I’ve read this year! Highly recommended for kids ages 2-6.