The Not So Scary Snorklum by Paul Bright is a picture book (with illustrations by Jane Chapman) which tells a story in much the same vein as Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo.
The Not So Scary Snorklum has the traditional call and response style of narrative. The Snorklum is hurrying home, having cut it rather fine in terms of getting home before dark. He looks terrifying but is exhibiting signs of fear.
On the way home he bumps into a variety of animals. The animals all look super tasty, and he stops, despite the lateness of the hour, to challenge them and then scoop them up to eat later.
Each animal challenges the Snorklum in turn, pointing out that twitching and wibbling and knees knocking are all signs of being scared, not being scary.
Eventually the Snorklum gets tired of this taunting and goaded by the animals, provides evidence to show just how scary he is.
Unfortunately the Snorklum has to fear the onset of dark for a reason, and the animals, having tricked him into staying out too long, manage to get their revenge on the scary Snorklum.
This is quite a fun book. The twist at the end was nice, as up to that point the story was rather repetitive and reminiscent of many others we had read. I was delighted that unlike other books, particularly The Gruffalo, this is not in rhyming couplets. My children prefer rhyming books though, it has to be said.
A fun picture book about facing your fears and outwitting people who seem scarier than you, which would work well for 3-6 year olds. With cutesy animal characters and a suitably troll like monster it will appeal to both boys and girls.