Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Children's Fiction Self-esteem & Self-reliance

Serge, the Snail Without a Shell (pb)

by (author) Harriet Alida Lye & Rosa Rankin-Gee

illustrated by Andrea Blinick

Nimbus Publishing
Initial publish date
Mar 2023
Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2023
    List Price

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 3 to 7
  • Grade: p to 2
  • Reading age: 3 to 7


The whimsical debut picture book by two celebrated novelists about a slug, desperate to fit in at all costs, and the adventure he embarks upon to learn that maybe being yourself is best of all!

Serge was a snail without a shell.
His mum and his dad were shell-less as well.
"You're no more than a SLUG!" the snails at school taunted.
I wish I had a shell. It was all that Serge wanted.

Serge is not like the snails at school. They call him a horrible name—slug—and even though that's entirely what he is, he wishes for a shell of his own.

Feeling like an outcast, Serge sets off on a solo adventure in search of the elusive shell that will make a perfect home—and make him just like everybody else. After some much-needed advice from his friend Fish, he finds himself at the ocean, where many options await: "Big shells and teeny shells/ All the in-betweeny shells/ Pyramid and swirly shells/Altogether curly shells!"

But can Serge find the perfect shell, or is he destined to be different forever?

A charming, lyrical story with bouncy text, whimsically illustrated by artist Andrea Blinick, Serge the Snail Without A Shell puts a modern twist on a tale as old as time: trying to fit in at all costs, before realizing that maybe being yourself is best of all.

About the authors

Harriet Alida Lye is a writer from Richmond Hill, Ontario. She studied Philosophy and English at the University of King's College in Halifax and lived in Paris for the better part of eight years. She founded and edited Her Royal Majesty, a literary arts magazine that ran for six years and published James Franco, Robert Hass, and the first-ever short story by Alice Munro. Her fiction, essays, and reporting have been published by VICE, Hazlitt, Happy Reader, The Guardian, The National Post, and more. Harriet now lives in Toronto, and works at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. This is her first novel.

Harriet Alida Lye's profile page

Rosa Rankin-Gee has also written two books for adults – The Last Kings of Sark, and Dreamland – but this is her first book for kids. She lives in London, England, in a house with green walls. Her partner, Leah, is responsible for all the wonderful animals in their life: Tavvi and Fritz (poodles), Half Court, April and Woo (horses) and about fifty multicoloured chickens.

Rosa Rankin-Gee's profile page

Andrea Blinick is an artist and an art educator with a passion for children’s literature. After graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design with an illustration diploma, she went on to receive a Bachelor of Design through OCAD in conjunction with Thompson Rivers University and then pursued a Bachelor of Education at York University. Her first picture book, Outside, You Notice (2021), earned a starred review from Kirkus Reviews. Andrea lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters, who often inspire the storytelling behind her art. She enjoys music, writing, comedy, travel, and making a mess on her art table.


Andrea Blinick's profile page

Other titles by

Other titles by

Other titles by