Book Review: The Legend of the Golden Snail by Graeme Base

‘Snailing ship, rise and shine.

Hoist your sails and trim them fine,

Taste once more the salty brine,

For with this spell I make you mine!’

With this begins the enchanting Legend of the Golden Snail. Wilbur, a wide-eyed clever young boy with a wild imagination decides to follow his dreams and go on a voyage to seek out the Golden Snail that has been banished to the end of the Earth by the Grand Enchanter.  He prepares well for an odyssey of a hundred years and sets sail with his trusty cat into the vast gleaming ocean.

During his quest he encounters many challenges in the form of a bush of blossoming butterflies wilting away in the sun, earwig pirates, lantern fish and monstrous magical creatures.

Will Wilbur choose to be like the ruthless Grand Enchanter or will he lend a helping hand? Will his acumen lead him to prosperity and return him safely home?

Does he make it past the dreadful doldrums, the slithering sea and the maze of madness and accomplish his mission of roaming the vast oceans for a hundred – maybe even a thousand years on the majestic Golden Snailing Ship?

With dazzling sprightly illustrations packed with intricate detail that you can venerate for hours and still find something fascinating every time, this book will leave you mesmerized. The vast horizons and infinite cloudscapes are a representation of the author’s incredible journey to England and back during his childhood.

Filled with melodious rhymes and alliterative prose, this instructive book engages all, young and old. It will surely capture the hearts and minds of all inquisitive voyagers setting sail on the high seas in search of their very own Golden Snail.

It builds on the literary themes of true mateship and compassion and reiterates the importance of relying on qualities of fortitude, helpfulness and veracity to propel us forward on our pursuit through turbulent seas to reach our ultimate goal.

The bonus mini book and the task of finding the hidden ‘snail n’ crossbones’ in every picture for an opportunity to bring the golden snail magically to life enhances the reading experience and will surely bring on endless hours of cheer and entertainment.

So what are you waiting for? Put on your captains hat and indulge in this captivating story of wondrous adventure!

Book Details:

Author/Illustrator: Graeme Base

ISBN: 9780670073498

Format: Hardback

Publisher: Viking (Penguin Australia), September 2010


Shortlisted in 2011 for the Australian Book Industry Awards

Notable book in 2011 for CBC Book of the Year

Shortlisted in 2011 for the Neilsen BookData Bookseller Choice Awards

Shortlisted in 2011 for the W.A Young Reader’s Book Awards

RRP: $29.95

Leave a Reply