“The joy of reading springs from each page, enchanting seemingly ordinary forests and bedrooms.”
“In every house, in every bed, a bedtime book was being read” in this wonderful book-centric world created by husband and wife team Tom and Helen Docherty. This enchanting woodland world at first seems to feature only ordinary creatures you might find in your local forest—badgers, hedgehogs, rabbits and the like—until the book’s namesake rises eerily from the shadows: the Snatchabook. This mythical creature, while making an eery apperance, is a friendly, goodhearted character that draws us further into the storybook world with its features that seem to include, among others, dragon fly wings and a lion’s tail. The illustration style feels classic but fresh, and the inclusion of time-honored stories—such as Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks—and toys—like blocks and train sets—ensures the illustrations will be hold up well throughout the years. Add to this the book’s excellent cadence, elevated word choice and sweet story, and the Dochertys have created a classic read-aloud about the joy of reading.
Where have all the bedtime stories gone? A delightful addition to the picture book canon about the love of reading One dark, dark night in Burrow Down, a rabbit named Eliza Brown found a book and settled down…when a Snatchabook flew into town. It’s 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 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.
The charming rhyming text and sweet yet spunky illustrations of The Snatchabook were created by a husband and wife team—how cool! Together they weave a FANTASTIC story about a love of reading and friendship that teaches kindness, understanding, empathy, and forgiveness… all while being absolutely enjoyable! This is sure to become an all-time favorite—it is one of ours!
This book has important over-arching themes of righting a wrong and empathy. The Snatchabook uses empathy by realizing what it would be like to have your cherished books stolen, and Eliza Brown uses empathy to realize what it would be like not to have parents reading you books. The two become friends because they can imagine what the other must feel like.
I was born and grew up in a small town called Weymouth, on the south coast of England. My family was from Wales, and I inherited from them a love of stories. As a child, I spent most of my time either reading or writing. From an early age I started making books (and even a monthly magazine for witches) with my own stories and pictures in them. I took this very seriously, and was quite determined that I would be an author when I grew up. All I needed to keep me happy was a pile of books to read (I was a regular visitor to our local library), some blank paper, a pencil and some felt tip pens that hadn’t run out. In the end, I didn’t become an author – at least, not straight away. I went to Newcastle University in the north of England to study French and Spanish, and in between being a student there I spent time in France, Spain and Cuba, where I learned to dance salsa and once queued for 4 hours for an ice-cream. After graduating, I trained as a secondary school teacher and headed out to Mexico City with an open ticket and no job. Luckily, I found a job teaching French in an International school, and I ended up staying in Mexico for four years, before returning to the UK to do a Masters in Film and Television Production at Bristol University. After a lot of fun helping young people in Bristol make films (but not making much money), I returned to teaching for a few years, working with refugees and asylum seekers and then teaching Spanish at the University of the West of England. During this time, I met Thomas Docherty, who had recently started illustrating his own books. It was Tom who encouraged me to start writing stories again, and we co-wrote the book Ruby Nettleship and the Ice Lolly Adventure (Templar, 2010). In the summer of 2011 I wrote my first ever rhyming story, The Snatchabook (Alison Green Books, 2013). Tom and I got married in 2008 and we now live in Swansea, Wales, with our two daughters and a cat called Cadi. Looking back, I’m glad that I ended up learning languages, living abroad and working for many years as a teacher… before I finally became an author! Nowadays, I love going into schools to tell my stories to children and inspire them to write stories of their own. Working with Thomas Docherty through Storyopolis, I’ve helped lots of children in Swansea create their very own Book in a Day. You can read some of their fantastic stories by following this link to my Storyopolis page. (Bio via helendocherty.com)
When I was at school I never imagined I would end up writing stories. my spelling was terrible and I found reading really difficult, because I’m dyslexic. Luckily my mum and dad read to me and took me to the library where I spent hours looking at picture books. I had always liked drawing and so I began keeping a sketchbook diary, especially if I travelled anywhere new and it was these diaries that inspired my first picture books. Now whenever possible, I like going along to schools and libraries to talk to children about my work and help them write and draw their own stories. My books have been selected for many awards including the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal. I live in Swansea with wife Helen and our two daughters. Helen is also a children’s book author and together we created the award-winning picture book The Snatchabook.
We’ve had The Snatchabook on our list of favorites for a while, and we’re so glad we could share it with our subscribers. Where did you get the idea for the book?
Helen: I got the idea at the end of a long day of trying to think up original story ideas. The words ‘book thief’ popped into my head, and with them the idea of a mysterious creature who steals storybooks in the night. At first I was going to call it the BookCruncher or the BookSnatcher, but these sounded a little menacing. I tried reversing the words and came up with the Snatchabook, which sounded more fitting for a lonely creature who just wants someone to read him a bedtime story. At the time, I was reading to our own children every night (actually, I still do!) - it’s such a special, important part of our daily routine