Written and illustrated by Zahraa, Mustafa, Felix, Nayan, Mia, Yunay, and Laureen.
Ages 4+ | 36 Pages
What to expect: Bravery, Teamwork, Magical Creatures
The Wizard and the Brave Snails was originally written in German, titled Zauberer Schnecken, and has been translated into English, Hungarian, Greek, Portuguese (Brazil), Indonesian, Spanish, French, Arabic, and Polish, which makes the book accessible to young readers from different backgrounds. Although the illustrations are unconventional, readers can relate to them, as they look like children’s artworks and sketches.
This is a story about a wizard called Max Schicon Kriemsis who lived in the middle of the Himalayan mountains with dwarfs, rainbow monsters, and snails. He desired to become the king of wizards, which will give him the power to rule over the world. To achieve his quest, Max had to collect all the treasures in the world. Thus, he terrorized the dwarfs and rainbow monsters into serving him: he made the dwarfs collect the treasures into a cave and the rainbow monsters guarded them day and night without reprieve.
When the snails realized the dangers Max’s ambition posed, they made a brave decision to stop him. They started carrying the gold nuggets, gems, silver coins, and diamonds from the cave to the glass mountain bit by bit. Due to their size, they could enter and leave the cave without the rainbow monsters noticing them. The dwarfs eventually realized what the snails were doing and confronted them. But after the snails explained their motive, they joined forces to accomplish greater results.
After the snails and dwarfs succeeded in hiding enough treasure, Max lost the power the treasures gave him, and his quest ended.
This story teaches children to be brave enough to turn any negative situation around.
If the snails had not endeavored to stop Max, he would have achieved his quest and everyone on the mountain and the world, at large, would have been at his mercy. “This is exactly what we want to avoid. When the wizard has collected all the treasures, he will be so powerful that he can rule over anything and anyone – or even destroy everything. That’s why we take as many treasures as possible to the glass mountain…”
It is a story that also teaches children how teamwork and unity in the face of adversary can enable them to reach greater heights.
This can be seen when the dwarfs decided to join forces with the snails, despite the repercussions they would have suffered if the wizard had discovered their action. “This idea – although dangerous – is a good plan. We will help you.”
Finally, The Wizard and the Brave Snails enables children to see how they can put their uniqueness and differences to good use and how negative attitudes, like greed, selfishness, wickedness, among others can eventually make them lose their true self. Max could have used his existing powers to foster equity, synergy, and harmony, but his selfish ambition ultimately diminished his power.
Review by Edwina N.K Quarcoo.