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The Picture Book Buzz

Spreckle's Snack Surprise - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

I loved Sandra Salsbury's debut Best Friend the Whole World and I was excited to see the announcement for this book. It did not disappoint. This wonderful picture book, featuring a charming and loveable little dragon searching for the perfect snack, is so hilarious and heartfelt that readers will want to read again and again.

Book Cover image of a little dragon surrounded by corn husks and a tumbling bunch of her eight sibiling chickens.

Spreckle's Snack Surprise

Author/Illustrator: Sandra Salsbury

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers (2023)

Ages: 4-8



Family, animals, snacks, humor, and discovery.


Spreckle the dragon lives on a farm with her loving family of chickens. It is a fine home, but she is fed up with their diet of dried corn and slugs, Spreckle explores the bounty of snacks the farm has to offer, from hay to pig slop. Tragically, nothing hits the spot.

Life without a decent snack is hardly a life at all, as far as Spreckle is concerned. Will this hungry dragon with a burning need for the perfect snack ever find satisfaction?

Opening Lines:

Spreckle was hatched on a farm.

She had a fluffy mama,

brothers and sisters


and a cozy bed.

It was a fine home, except . . .

What I LOVED about this book:

I adore the way Sandra and the team at Peachtree designed the cover. Since the book is about finding the most perfect snack, its tongue and cheek humor is genius. A tumbling jumble of "sibling chicks" accompanies the statement "chock full of chicken." And the nutritional - "Book Facts" label is hilarious. "1 story per book. Serving size - 40 pages." Then after listing the frequency of specific characters appearances in the book, it lists the percentage of materials used in construction - "Pencil 2%, Watercolor 63%, Photoshop 34%, and Tears 1%." 😂

Full book Jacket Cover w/ earlier cover image and back "book facts" written as if a nutrition guide.

Text & Image © Sandra Salsbury, 2023.

Spreckle, a little dragon hatched by a Hen, had a loving chicken family and a "cozy bed. It was a fine home, except . . . snacks were not very good." Spreckle refused to eat slimy slugs and dried corn her siblings liked. So, convinced there had to be better food somewhere, she "flew the coop."

But her investigation of other animal's food resulted in the humorous rejection of one after another. Sandra does such a great job with all the expressions and the surreptitious lick of a pig; it will definitely bring a few giggles from the readers.

Internal image of 6 spot illustrations - little dragon Spreckle investigates hay, a paper bag, grass, pig slop, a pig, and pouting on a fence.

Text & Image © Sandra Salsbury, 2023.

Just as she was about to give up hope of ever finding something good to eat, the perfect treat pops into her mind. And just as quickly disappears. Poor Spreckle, hungry and sad, she heads toward a darkening sky and a tower of hay. As the sky changes to match her mood and dump a bucket of rain, Mama hen and her siblings find Spreckle cold, sneezing, sulky, and sad on the top of a hay bale. A touching moment with Mama and a repeat image of the perfect cozy family snuggle accompanies Spreckle's decision that maybe the most important thing was family.

Internal spread - left side has three panels of Mama hen & chicks climbing hay bale toward Spreckle. And on right whole family is snuggled on top of a hay bale.

Text & Image © Sandra Salsbury, 2023.

But don't despair, keep reading to see if you caught all the clues sprinkled throughout about what turns out to be Spreckle's most amazing, perfect snack of all. Readers are sure to fall in love with this adorable little dragon and enjoy reading the book over and over again. Full of puns, humor, and heart, this is a wonderful book about the special loving bond of family, their acceptance and support of Spreckle's struggle, and a funny look at "snacks" on a farm.


 kid holding two origami dragons.

- make your own origami dragon to help you hunt for snacks.

- what is your favorite snack? Is there a snack you don't like? If you like Spreckle's snack, do you add any flavors to it?

- look at the label for your favorite snack. How does it compare to the label on the back cover? What makes the cover so funny?

If you missed the interview with Sandra Salsbury 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.

If you're in the area, Sandra Salsbury will be reading & signing books at -

Logo banner for Mr. Mopp's Toy Store


July 9, 2023 at 11:00 am


(510) 525-9633

Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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