The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty

Today’s post is a book recommendation for our Family Focus Traits: Authentic Apologies and Genuine Forgiveness month. Today, though, I bring you an adorable book of forgiveness. Though it doesn’t contain the words “I’m sorry” or “I forgive you,” Helen and Thomas Docherty’s The Snatchabook brings us an endearing model of authentic remorse and genuine forgiveness in little Eliza Brown.

In The Snatchabook, the children in Eliza Brown’s town love their nighttime stories: “And every child in every bed / listened hard to each word said.” Until, that is, their books begin to disappear mid-read! Their bookshelves become more and more bare until Eliza Brown decides to get to the bottom of this unusual mystery…  And when she does, she can’t believe what she finds. A Snatchabook! A Snatchabook who loves stories, but has no home full of stories and loving companion to read them to him.

Now here’s where Eliza models graceful, genuine forgiveness. Rather than punish the Snatchabook, hate him, hold a grudge against him, or tell everyone around town how bad he is, she sits down with him! She sits down with him, talks to him, and tries to understand why he behaves the way he does. Once she understands the cause, she comes up with a plan to help him change his ways and right his wrongs.

But that’s not all! Not only does Eliza help the Snatchabook make things right again, but once he’s done, she gathers all of her friends together to tell them exactly what had happened. How the Snatchabook had made a mistake, but had “worked all night / to turn a wrong into a right.”

The Snatchabook expresses true, deeply felt remorse over his behavior when he apologizes, and his actions of letting Eliza Brown help him show us that he truly means what he says. And while Eliza never directly tells him that she forgives him, her kindness in helping him to become a better person… er, Snatchabook, model an amazing way to show forgiveness to those who have wronged us.

For more books like The Snatchabook, be sure to check out the rest of the books on our authentic apologies and genuine forgiveness booklist!


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