Tag: snail science

#kidlit Nonfiction Monday: Snails Are Just My Speed!

Snails are fascinating creatures that are often overlooked. When I discovered the children’s book Snails Are Just My Speed! by Kevin McCloskey on a list of great science and nature books from 2018, I knew I needed to get my hands on it.

Part of the Giggle and Learn series, this title combines fun illustrations with serious information about snails.

The first thing I love is that Keven McCloskey put the eyes where they should be, on the eye stalks or tentacles. Yes!

The second thing I love is that he puts in a lot of mucus for the “ick, gross” factor, but also adds useful information, like humans make mucus too, but it is mostly on the inside.

The thing I love most? The awesome lesson on how to draw a snail in the back! (Turn the page for useful tips for parents and teachers about “How To Read Comics With Kids.”)

The books in this series are marketed as beginning readers, which may discourage some older children from picking them up. That would be too bad because they have potential to appeal to a larger range of ages.

Snails Are Just My Speed! should fly off the shelves. Check out a copy today!

Age Range: 4 – 7 years
Publisher: TOON Books (May 1, 2018)
ISBN-10: 194314527X
ISBN-13: 978-1943145270

Snails can be humorous? Yes, they can.

This is me on Monday morning.

Do I have to get up?

Argh, it is too bright out.

Okay, if I must get up I will.

Now, where did I put my coffee?

If you want some more serious science try our previous posts:

Adult readers might be interested in the memoir that Kevin McCloskey says inspired him, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey. It reveals how her long recovery from a devastating illness was helped by observing a snail.


Publisher: Green Books; Later prt. edition (September 1, 2010)
ISBN-10: 1900322919
ISBN-13: 978-1900322911

Bug of the Week: Intro to Snails with Escargot

A writing friend recently introduced me to the cutest fiction picture book about a snail, Escargot by Daska Slater and illustrated by Sydney Hanson.

You can see for yourself. Sophia reads the entire book in this video:

Although I usually feature nonfiction, fiction children’s books like this one may also inspire us to investigate scientific questions.

For example:

Do snails eat carrots?

Yes, they do. When we raised them years ago, our brown garden snails ate carrots. It was easy to find videos of other kinds of snails eating carrots, too.

What is a snail’s mouth like?

A snail scrapes off food with a radula, which has teeth like a saw blade.

Do snails really have eyes?

Yes, but not where they are shown in the book.

The snail eyes are the black spots at the ends of the upper feelers or tentacles.

What are those other things sticking out of a snail’s head?

The lower feelers or tentacles help the snail taste or smell its food.

Where do snails come from?


Adult snails lay eggs.

Tiny baby snails hatch out of the eggs, complete with tiny shells. Their shells get bigger as they grow.

Would a snail really like vinaigrette on its salad?

No, the vinegar in the vinaigrette could harm a snail.


Did reading the book Escargot give you any questions about snails? If so, we’d love to hear them.

Raising Snails and Science Projects

In answer to a question that came in this week about raising snails, I have put together a few resources for you.


We raised brown garden snails, which are a commonly considered to be a pest species. We kept them in gallon-sized jars (sun tea jars work well) with a fabric (light cotton) cover. The cover was simply held on with a rubber band. We tried moist soil in one container and wet paper towels in the other. The paper towels were easier to clean and the snails sometimes used the towels for food. We were vigilant to keep the towels moist.

The soil was more of an issue, because we soon had an overgrowth of springtails and sowbugs that we had accidentally added with our garden soil. The soil was also harder to keep free of rotting vegetable matter. (Hence the extra critters). Snails need to be cleaned frequently.

You will need to add sources of calcium, like egg shells. We gave the snails egg shells that we washed out. We also gave them a number of different leafy vegetables.

The snails laid their eggs in the paper towels or under the soil. In no time we had a lot of snails (you probably should have an “exit plan” such as friends that are willing to take some off your hands). Taking care of snails and watching their life cycle was a great way to learn about a creature so different from our fuzzy pet friends.

The book Snailology by Michael Elsohn Ross, Darren Erickson (Illustrator), and Brian Grogan (Illustrator, Photographer) is also a wonderful resource.

To learn more try:

Anatomy of Snails has labeled photographs of snails parts

Kiddyhouse has worksheets for the younger set, including a diagram to label and a garden scene with snails to color.

Science Buddies has Can Copper Foil Snails?