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Hello! Leo Lionni is my favorite kids author, all of his stories are good, and some of them are just FANTASTIC. I like the book format too, is very small and simple and the ilustrations are high quality water color. It’s definitely a good bought.
Two warnings: 1) the snail in the fable part of the story dies for lack of food, which could be a little too sad for very little kids; and 2) on one of the pages there is lots of text describing the pictures on the next page, and the next page has no text at all because the illustration takes up all the room. You have to memorize the last part of the text on the one page and then go ahead and turn the page and then recite it to your child-- it gets easier by the tenth or eleventh time. :)
In this book, the little snail tells his father he wants to have the biggest house in the world. The father tells his son that is silly, that he should keep easy to carry. The father says once a little snail grew a house as big as a melon, added pointed bulges and bright colors, and was admired by butterfiles and frogs. But he and the other snails ate up the cabbage on which they lived. The other snails moved to the next cabbage, but the snail with the big house was stuck, and "faded away." His house crumbled into nothing. The son decides to follow his father's advice and keep his house small. One day he goes on to see the world-- ferns, pebbles, lichen, trees, flowers-- and the little snail was very happy.
The moral could be not to weigh yourself down with big purchases or large debts-- like Dave Ramsey says. Or that you should be content with what you have. Or that possessions are temporary but experiences aren't.
It's a book I've loved for years, my kids love it now, the illustrations are beautiful, and the story makes a good fable.
Kids loved reading it. In this world of consumerism, it was easy to drive home the point to the kids on how to keep belongings small. They are six, and got the message and read the book over and over again. Highly recommend.