The Snatchabook

Written by:Helen Docherty

Illustrated by:Thomas Docherty

Before Reading

Preview and Predict

Who do you think is stealing all of the stories in Burrow Down? You'll find out in this heartwarming story about a creature called the Snatchabook. Begin by looking over the cover and illustrations and making predictions about what the story will hold. Consider questions like:

What do you see on the cover? 

What do you think will happen in this story?

What do you think a "snatchabook" is? Why would someone steal a story?

{Flip to an illustration} What do you think is happening in this picture?


Talk About Bedtime Stories

In Burrow Down, every family reads a story at bedtime so talk to your child about your bedtime stories. Do you have any bedtime story rituals? A favorite blanket or stuffed animal that s/he enjoys having as you read? Does s/he have any favorite stories? Talk about your experience before you dive into the story!

As You Read

Build Language

Encourage your child to stop when s/he gets to a new word in the story. See if s/he can discover its meaning by using the illustrations and words surrounding it. For more difficult words, be sure to give plenty of other examples to ensure that your child understands their meanings. Examples of new words and phrases in The Snatchabook include:



Monitor Comprehension

Have an active discussion as you read to ensure comprehension, talking about how parts of the story relate to your child's life, the world around him/her as well as the other events within the story itself. Ask questions like,"What book do you think each family is reading? Who is stealing all of the books? Have you ever felt lonely like the Snatchabook? What do you do to feel better?"

After Reading

Make Connections

Help your child look at the story as a whole once you've completed your read-through by asking/discussing questions like:

Did you like that story? Why/why not? What happened in the story?

Was the Snatchabook a bad creature? Why did he take all of those books? 

How did Eliza Brown help the Snatchabook?

What did Eliza and the Snatchabook learn in this story?  

Extending the Story

Where Did Snatchabook Hide Your Story?

Inspired by: Wiki How


What would you do if your favorite storybook went missing? Act as the snatchabook and snatch one of your little one's favorite stories and hide it somewhere in your home! Then, turn it into a treasure hunt to find your child's book! This activity takes a bit of prep-time on your part beforehand, so here are some simple instructions to set up this hunt:

  1. Pick a hiding place! Make sure that it isn't too hard for your child to find but also isn't in plain sight. Good places for hiding are in a closet, under a pillow, in a couch, etc.
  2. Create some clues and try to make them rhyme, like "To find your first clue look by the glue." Incorporate games into your hunt like instructing your child to hop from one clue to another, or sing the ABCs until they get to the next clue. Create as many or as few clues as you'd like, and make them fun!
  3. Now that your clues have been created and your book has been hidden, it's time to start the hunt! Work together to find where the snatchabook hid your story and once you've found it, it's storytime!