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The Marvellous Land of Snergs

The Marvellous Land of Snergs

Published: 5 Nov 2020

Paperback / softback, 320 pages

Recommended for age 9+

By Veronica Cossanteli

Illustrated by Melissa Castrillon

Published by Chicken House Ltd

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RRP £6.99
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A brand new, funny and quirky story based on E.A. Wyke-Smith's classic, the inspiration for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, featuring wonderful illustrations from Melissa Castrillón.

At the Sunny Bay Home for Superfluous and Accidentally Parentless Children, Pip and Flora are in trouble. Running away with their dog they discover the Marvellous Land of Snergs, a magical world of cinnamon bears and scrumptious feasts - but also one of vegan ogres, disgraced jesters and dastardly Kelps, with a villain dressed entirely in purple. Soon their only friend is forgetful but lovable snerg, Gorbo.

He will lead them home - if they can decide where home really is and if Gorbo can remember how to get there.

This title features in our Reading Gladiators™ selection.
This title features in our The Reading Journey selection.

Reviewed by Nikki Gamble

The Marvellous Land of Snergs is funny, quirky and full of adventure, this is one story to delight and enchant all readers. Acknowledged as the inspiration for The Hobbit by Tolkien, the original work has been brought back to life by Victoria Cossanteli.  The cover and illustrations inside are by the incredible Melissa Castrillon.

Begging to be picked up, this whimsical and fantastic fairytale features orphans, Snergs, cinnamon bears and a wicked witch.  Pip and Flora, two orphans, run away from the Sunny Bay Home for Superfluous and Accidentally Parentless Children in search for their puppy but they find a whole new world as they dive through a gap in the hedge.  The Snergs live in this world, almost Hobbit-like and with a penchant for pastry.  Their friend Gorbo is a Snerg though he is despaired of by other Snergs due to his ability to find trouble.

Gorbo will lead the children through this world as they meet arch enemies, the Kelps as well as witches, ogres, and plenty of monstrous vegetation.  There is a sense of humour throughout each page and this story is cleverly given a new lease of life for new readers.  Perfect for brave children and grown-ups alike, this will instil a new love for Snergs and storytelling.

The Marvellous Land of Snergs would make an incredible read aloud for Year 4’s and above and teachers will marvel at the use of superb adjectives and language, which would be ideal to encourage children to use in their own writing.  With just the right amount of peril and mystery, and with a perfect ending- this will satisfy most readers, read independently or with the whole class.

It might be interesting to read this alongside The Hobbit with older students to compare and contrast!

Nikki Gamble
Formerly a teacher (secondary and primary) and university lecturer, with over 35 years’ experience, Nikki has worked extensively in schools across the UK and internationally. She is the author of Exploring Children’s Literature now in its fourth edition (Sage, 2019) Co-author of Guiding Readers, winner of the UKLA Academic Book award (UCL, 2016). Nikki runs workshops for teachers, librarians, students and researchers on different aspects of children's literature, an online summer school and an Audience with events, celebrating writers and illustrators who have made an exceptional contribution to the world of children's books. Further information exploringchildrensliterature.uk