Snapperwack, Fabulous Book of Sneaky Beasts
Children, Reading

Fabulous Sneaky Beasts

One of my favourite things about my kids is their ridiculously free and vivid imaginations.

It all started about two and a half years ago. Small boy was in the sling on my back as we walked through the woods from the local park to home, he pointed at a tree and told me that was the snapperwack’s home. Further discussion revealed that it was a particular hole in the side of the tree, where a branch had been lost, that was the home of whatever a snapperwack was. He explained that it was a small blue crocodile thing with white and yellow spots and wings. I assumed (unfairly, but he was only 2) that it was from a book at nursery. However, the girls who looked after him had no idea what I was talking about. I Googled to no avail, it seems to be a pure product of small boy’s imagination.

Over the following months, the snapperwack returned to conversation from time to time. Then the following summer, we were on a very very long drive to a campsite in France when the boys carried on talking about snapperwacks and large boy invented a jumbo jumper to go with it. During the holiday they imagined the relationships between these and several other strange and wonderful creatures. They drew pictures and large boy (then 6 and a half, about to start year 2) wrote little descriptions.

When we got home, large boy wanted to turn their pictures and paragraphs into a book to share with his friends. A few months later there were enough to make another.

Today, we stumbled on some pictures of the next set of creatures that they hadn’t looked at in a few months. In the space of the afternoon, large boy wrote descriptions of them all – they’ve never stopped talking about them, discussing each animal’s characteristics and behaviour – and we’ve almost got book 3 complete.

One day I’ll write something proper about the snapperwack, its comrade creatures, and their adventures.

The boys’ shared imagination, creating a whole world of hugely diverse creatures (fish, insects, mammals and reptiles), is amazing! I can’t wait to see what they’re going to come up with next.

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