The Slug and the Snail
A pair of slug brothers travel the roads until their peace is interrupted by a crow who asks where their home is. Embarrassed, the younger slug makes himself a home he can carry on his back and starts to call himself a snail. The brothers grow apart until they meet with the crow once more and begin to realise how alike they are after all.
This is a gently lyrical story based on the storytelling tradition of the Irish Traveller community which touches on identity and acceptance. It feels like quite a rare occurrence to find a book like this; an allegory which is rooted in an oral tradition and avoids being overly didactic leaving space for discussion. The story feels like the beginning of a conversation rather than a lesson readers must learn. Illustrations featuring the natural world are a true strength of this book as each page is alive with plant and insect life, from fungus growing on tree stumps to moths taking flight in the night sky. The framing of the story as being told between father and son provides an additional layer of context which really captures the heart of the tale.
A perfect book for starting conversations around difference and to appreciate the wealth of Traveller folklore and stories Ireland contains.