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The Picture Book Buzz

Escargot and the Search for Spring - The Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

From that first Bonjour, in 2017, I have loved Dashka Slater's Escargot! The fun combination of inserted French words and the adorableness which with Sydney Hanson imbues this little snail has made this series beloved by many. And I am so excited to share with you the newest book in the series - just in time for those of us suffering from the winter blahs and wishing spring would just get here. This gorgeous book will entertain and help you get over your ennui as you wait for winter to end.

Book cover - snail searching with an antenae coked over one eye as a bunny peers over a grassy knoll at him.

Escargot and the Search for Spring

Author: Dashka Slater

Illustrator: Sydney Hanson

Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan (2024)

Ages: 4-6



Spring, boredom, friendship, and seasons.


A cute French snail sets off on a springtime adventure with an adorable bunny in this laugh-out-loud fourth picture book in the bestselling Escargot series—the perfect gift for Easter or all year round.

Bonjour! After a long winter spent indoors, Escargot can’t wait to look outside for the first signs of Spring. Will he find a new friend in the fluffy white bunny he meets along the way?

From New York Times–bestselling author Dashka Slater and former Pixar animator Sydney Hanson, Escargot and the Search for Spring is an irresistibly sweet and charming story about unlikely friendship, changing seasons, and springtime fun. This hilarious and interactive addition to the award-winning Escargot series is the ideal read aloud for story time and animal lovers alike.

Opening Lines:

Bonjour! I was hoping you would open this book!

You are looking very nice today.

Perhaps you would say the same about me?

Of course, a beautiful French snail like Escargot looks nice every day.

But . . .

do you think I seem a little pale?

What I LOVED about this book:

Oh, this opening is amazing. I love the tone of the second person narration, as though addressing a long-time friend whose come for an anticipated visit. And I adore the bright, colorful illustration! Sydney Hanson gets so much back story, personality, and fun into this first image. What a wonderful living area. It's full of little nuances - fireplace cravings, planter, and fire grate, as well as a special comfy chair - all perfect for a self-assured French snail. While the teacups stacked about, pile of books, and yarn project convey an extended period of time recently spent in the room.

Internal spread - snail, wrapped in a blanket, sitting in a chair with cups, books, and yarn projects scattered about him.

Text © Dashka Slater, 2024. Image © Sydney Hanson, 2024.

Poor Escargot has a problem. he's suffering from ennui! He's bored . . . of everything. Look back at Dashka's interview for the stunning spread Sydney created to express Escargot's boredom and incroyable - a tiredness of hot chocolate! But wait, there's something even more terrible. I really enjoyed the positioning of Escargot's antenna in a mimic of a film star about to faint. His problem is something so awful, it requires a reader to fan him, before he can tell them his problem . . .

Internal spread - on left, snail with antenna dramatically draped over head, in pose for fainting. On right, open door with snail staring at a large white lump blocking the door.

Text © Dashka Slater, 2024. Image © Sydney Hanson, 2024.

Okay, I will tell you the terrible thing:

Escargot is trapped!

There is an enormous snowbank blocking the front door!

These little moments of interactivity with the reader add to the warm tone and fun of the book. If the child doesn't catch illustration hint the first time through, they will revel in knowing something Escargot doesn't on subsequent reads - that is the fluffy tail and bottom of a bunny, not a snowbank! I don't know about you, but I find that uniski adorable and intriguing. How does Escargot use that? As with the rest of the series, I really enjoy the fun snail facts and French terms Dashka's masterfully weaves into the story.

Donning his hat and scarf, Escargot sets about to shovel through the snowbank. Poor bunny. While continuing his conversational banter with the reader, Escargot begins to worry he's being followed. When he discovers, gasp, there's a fluffy, cute bunny in his book, he disdainfully continues on alone. Or does he?

Internal spread - a snail hurrying along a winding trail rfom the left to the right, followed by a bunny. On the right, at the top of a hill, snail and bunny end up face to face.

Text © Dashka Slater, 2024. Image © Sydney Hanson, 2024.

Enough is enough. Determined to rid his book of the bunny, Escargot tries everything he can think of. And just when he thinks he's won . . . Dashka and Sydney create a truly adorable, fun, and tender ending. Be sure to check out the end papers, as Sydney's beautifully encapsulated the story within these super fun, connected illustrations.

This is a perfect addition to the Escargot series, full of personality, discoveries, and heart. A perfect book as we finally start to see the end of winter (hopefully) with some solid ideas on beating boredom.


  • check out these craft ideas for making your own special snail or maybe one that looks like Escargot.

Collage of 20 varied snail crafts with all kinds of materials.
  • what did Escargot discover was wrong with him? Has that ever happened to you?

  • what tells you spring has come at your house? Rain? Flowers? A special day? Here are spring crafts to try while waiting for spring to arrive.

Collage of some of the 50 spring crafts for kids.
  • and just in case you need cute Escargot valentines, you can find them (here) and (here).

Two Escargot Valentines. On left "You make my heart dance!" has a snail and mouse dancing. On right, "Be my Snailentine?" has a snail with a straw hat on his shell.

If you missed the fun interview with Dashka Slater on Monday, find it (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions and resources see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.


Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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