The Great Snortle Hunt
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This issue’s cover illustration by Steve Stone is from Darke by Angie Sage. Thanks to Bloomsbury for their help with this July cover.
By clicking here you can view, print or download the fully artworked Digital Edition of BfK 195 July 2012 .
Four friends set out to see the Snortle who lives ‘on a hill bumpy-steepy’ in a big old house. No one has ever seen the Snortle but everyone knows he has a huge appetite and is very, very scary. Snortles, it is also known, love moonlit nights, so one night the brave group sets out armed with everything they might need, including a big iced-cake for the Snortle. On the way they are scared, but not deterred, by all sorts of creepy noises; they even enter the Snortle’s bedroom despite the growls, groans, strange gurgly moans and horribly Snortley sounds coming from under a big bedspread covering a huge monster Snortle. There is more excitement and surprises as the friends hastily exit the house, but the tale takes an unexpected turn when the Snortle, who is a really friendly chap, invites them all for tea the very next day.
Recommended for three year-olds plus, young readers will love the build-up of excitement as the gang of four approaches the house, and the ending which gently shows without telling, that you can’t make assumptions about Snortles – and perhaps people.
Freedman is an accomplished author who knows what children like and her words are well-matched by Hindley’s spikey images. These, laid on mat paper which suitably tones down the brighter colours, imbue each of the friends, and the Snortle, with character, and create a sense of mounting tension. The page shape too is used to maximum effect in this affirming production.