Review: Snottydink by Ellie Curry and Dominic Trevett

Dragon-like, but with some elephant qualities.

Publication date: An undisclosed date in 2015
Publisher: FremantleMedia

Tonight is the final of The Apprentice, series 11, and what better way to prepare mentally than to review Snottydink. Half joke, half genuine interest, I have had a strong interest in reviewing this book for a while now. As a picture book fanatic, I was understandably intrigued by the work which has been universally hailed as “pretty good for something written in an afternoon.”

I have to say, I’m inclined to agree. The attempts at rhyme occasionally fall short, and I think the phrase “moisture rife” should be judged not because it is beyond the vocabulary of your average young child – reading teaches new words, that’s part of the point – but due to its sheer gratuitousness in the context. However, overall my take-away from the book is positive, and the feel-good factor is balanced and well-written.

To summarise: the eponymous Snottydink is different to the other ‘dinks’ because instead of fire, his nose releases water. Following the fairly standard trope of the journey from dismissal to acceptance – see other well-known figures whose noses cause their peers to ‘laugh and call them names’ and yet allow them to ‘go down in history’ – Snottydink praises the necessity of difference in a fun and creative way.

Equally impressive are the illustrations which, though obviously also imagined and created in an afternoon, include interesting and quaint detail, giving the reader insight into Dink life. Trevett has managed to find the right place for his illustrations to occupy, even under pressure, and they complement the text wonderfully.

A major part of the book’s appeal does remain in the novelty of the overnight creation, however under no circumstances is that its only quality. The story is well told, and the timings for revelation, acceptance, conclusion are perfect. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a fun book on tolerance, and one of the most ingenious duck/fuck puns I’ve read in a while.

So given my firmly positive reaction to ‘Ellie Curry’s’ 1-day creation, I guess I’ll just have to read Gobble Gruff  too.



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