Fabulous Sneaky Beasts

Snapperwack, Fabulous Book of 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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