Books CORL (Check Off your Reading List) Challenge 2014 Fantasy and Paranormal GB Challenges It's Monday What Are You Reading Picture Books Reading Themes

[Monday Reading] Voyages to the Fringes of Fantasy: “The Legend of the Golden Snail” and “Quest”


Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (brainchild of Sheila at BookJourney). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community.

Last Week’s Review and Miscellany Posts

We’re also inviting everyone to join our Check Off your Reading List Challenge 2014.


Sign up here to join us! Here is the October-December linky.  We are also very excited to share that Pansing Books will be giving away copies of Cherub Dark Sun by Robert Muchamore to two lucky CORL participants from October-December.

Carrie Gelson of There is a Book for That is also hosting #mustreadin2014.

Many thanks, dear Iphigene, for this lovely widget. Truly beautiful.
Many thanks, dear Iphigene, for this lovely widget. Truly beautiful.

I originally meant to do a 3-in-1 Graeme Base Special last week, but when I read these two books, I thought that they would fit much better together.

IMG_6713The Legend Of The Golden Snail

Written and Illustrated by: Graeme Base
Published by: Abrams Book for Young Readers, 2010
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Wilbur’s favourite bedtime story book is The Legend of the Golden Snail that tells about a fabulous Snailing Ship that is somewhat like the Arabian Nights’ red carpet – able to take any voyager to any place in the world – even to fantastical and mystical places. However, a Grand Enchanter banished the Golden Snail to the ends of the earth so that no one could sail in it anymore when he grew tired of it and grew too old to be traveling the seas. Wilbur felt that he could rescue the Golden Snail so that he could go on a quest around the world.


As you can see above, Wilbur’s favourite bedtime story along with the top-secret incantation to control the Snailing Ship can be found in this book as well. When Wilbur decided to travel to the ends of the earth, his mum made sure that he brought a hat with him to keep the sun off his face, of course.


As Wilbur travels to the ends of the earth, he encountered quite a number of difficulties along the slithering sea, the dreadful doldrums, the maze of madness, and not to mention the Earwig Pirates he met along the way.


In this story, Wilbur discovers the time-honoured lesson of any life-traveler – it is the journey and the many creatures you meet along the way that matter more than the actual destination. Whether he found the Snailing Ship, I shall leave for you to discover.


Written and Illustrated byAaron Becker
Published by: Candlewick Press, 2014
Borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

I did not realize that Becker was planning a trilogy revolving around his celebrated picturebook Journey. In the vein of Harold and the Purple Crayon, this second book follows the adventure of two children as they save an orange-robed king, meticulously follow a detailed map of sorts, and figure out through intuition and their highly-imaginative minds exactly what is needed in order for them to release the rainbow in the skies.


There is much to savor here – and there are tiny details that the reader can immerse herself in: visual codes and clues and narrative told through exquisite artwork.


Teachers would go crazy discussing visual literacy, inferences, problem-solving through art, and establishing causal relationships as explored in images. A thoroughly enjoyable book one can get lost in.

Currently Reading…

We arrived in San Diego Monday last week from Washington DC. I managed to finish One Came Home by Amy Timberlake before we left DC. I immediately started reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn while I was on the plane traveling, as I was supposed to do a virtual book discussion with my friends over Thanksgiving week (which sadly did not pan out).


But at least, I got to finish the book in two days since there was no wifi connection when we arrived in San Diego. See what loss of internet access can do!


Now I am deep into Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, a book that was loaned to me by a very good friend who speaks very highly about this novel.



Reading Challenge Update: 284-285 (25)

Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

14 comments on “[Monday Reading] Voyages to the Fringes of Fantasy: “The Legend of the Golden Snail” and “Quest”

  1. I preferred Gillian Flynn’s first novel (Sharp Objects) to Gone Girl, but I know many don’t agree!



  2. Hooray to finishing One Came Home…. I’m curious about reading Gone Girl, looking forward to reading it sometime…


  3. I am excited to look at Quest. I just haven’t gotten to it yet. I am also interested in Gone Girl but it has fallen behind on a long list of middle grade books.


  4. The Graeme Base book looks incredible! Must get my hands on this one soon. I skimmed Quest very quickly at the bookstore–I need to get my own copy so that I can enjoy it at a much more leisurely pace. Everything I’ve read about Gone Girl makes me know that I would pull my hair out trying to read it, but I am curious about Station Eleven which is showing up on many “best of” annual lists. I’ll look forward to your review!


  5. Gone Girl was such a great summer read – I saw the movie, too, Myra, and loved it. What a story!


  6. I’ve never seen this Graeme Base book, Myra. I love the earlier Animalia and Eleventh Hour, and this looks great too. Oh the illustrations! I liked One Came Home, too, a good historical fiction, good strong female protagonist, too. Thanks Myra. You’ve had quite an adventure across the country!


  7. Love the illustrations in The Legend of the Golden Snail. Of course with Graeme Base, you can’t expect anything else. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.


  8. WOW – The Legend of the Golden Snail looks AMAZING! Love Graeme Base so excited to see this new one! I have read Quest – didn’t think he could come close to Journey- but it appeared he did! I loved Gone Girl the book but the movie didn’t quite do it justice. Ben Aflick just didn’t cut it for me! Have a wonderful week, Myra!


  9. Ah, Myra, never saw THE LEGEND OF THE GOLDEN SNAIL, but the illustrations look fantastic and the story sounds compelling, too 🙂

    And, of course, I ADORE Aaron Becker’s work! JOURNEY and QUEST are aMAzing! Can’t wait for the release of RETURN!!! 😀


  10. I really enjoyed One Came Home. I need to book talk that one and get it circulating again. What a great pair of picture books! Thanks for sharing. 🙂


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