Thursday, January 6, 2011

a lovely little book

When reading book reviews, odd and unexpected things catch my eye. This is one of them.

While traveling in Europe, Elizabeth Tova Bailey picked up a virus that, over a period of time, almost totally incapacitated her. She was moved to a care facility for recovery and, while there, a friend of hers brought her a flower pot with a wild violet planted in it. On the bottom of one of the leaves was a snail. Watching the snail fascinated Ms. Bailey and she was soon full of questions about snails and their behavior. The result was The sound of a wild snail eating.

This lovely little book came from her observations and research about snails and they are, indeed, fascinating little creatures. Ms. Bailey kept her snail, moving it to a terrarium, until it had produced eggs (snails are hermaphrodites), becoming the proud father/mother of many, many offspring. Soon afterwards, the snail was returned to the forest, its original home.

Warm, graceful and gentle, this is a delightful bedside book. A few pages each night was a perfect transition from wakefulness to drowsiness. A lovely little book.

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