We are delighted to join author Cath Jones and illustrator Craig Shuttlewood on their Slug Love blogtour. I love gardening and luckily don’t seem to have too many problems with slugs. But I’ve started viewing them in a new light since I read Slug’s story!
Slug Love takes a fascinating look at garden life through the eyes of Slug and his friends. It’s a wonderfully diverse story with an underlying environmental message.
The Story: Slug wants to be best friends with the Gardener. But she just sees him as a pest. He tries various ways to win her affection but unfortunately they have the opposite effect. Even after being thrown onto the compost heap he remains optimistic. But then he is thrown into the bucket of doom…
Slug is such an adorably optimistic character. His best friend Spider is the opposite and not at all encouraging when Slug explains his plans. Much of the humour in the story comes from the fact that Slug just can’t see how much he annoys the Gardener as he tries to win her affection. But eventually Slug finds a wonderfully creative way to convince Spider and the Gardener that they can all be friends.
We absolutely love Craig Shuttlewood’s illustrations. They’re so full of humour and really bring the garden alive – from the first illustration showing the Gardener with her Slug Gone packet we know that Slug has an uphill task ahead of him!
Slug has a wonderful reunion with friends when he is unceremoniously thrown onto the compost heap and we love all the different coloured slugs that are included. It made us think a lot more about the slugs that visit our garden and we had some slug questions for Cath…
I’ve just discovered there’s a species of slug called a banana slug! Did you do lots of research about slugs before writing Slug Love?
When the character of Slug first popped into my head, his hilarious adventures just poured onto the page. Slug’s optimism drove the story forward. I knew nothing about slugs other than that they chomped lots of my plants on my allotment and in the greenhouse. At that stage, I didn’t need to know anything specific about slugs. However, once the story was written, I started to notice slugs everywhere. I became aware of all the different sizes and types that inhabited my garden. I started to fall in love with how beautiful slugs are! I’ve never been a gardener that killed slugs and snails and now I made sure I took a torch with my so I could avoid accidentally stepping on them at night.
I have to admit that I’ve never been very keen on touching slimy things in the garden. But when I came across a beautiful leopard slug on the lid of our wheely bin, I felt compelled to pick it up and move it to somewhere it would find lots of tasty treats. Even when it totally slimed my sleeve, I was entranced by it!
Apparently, Banana Slugs can grow to be a foot long!!
Which of your garden plants do slugs really enjoy eating?
Slugs ADORE hostas. My wife has a huge collection of hostas which she tries really hard to keep slug free with the use of barriers. Copper really does seem to deter slugs. We don’t use slug pellets because of concerns for wildlife such as hedgehogs. I grow mainly vegetables and they do seem to enjoy munching squash and pumpkin seedlings. But I decided years ago to take the approach of sharing my plants and crops with all the inhabitants of the garden. No point in going to war with them! So, I deliberately grow some seedlings for the slugs and some for me. There always seems to be plenty to go around.
I’ve had to protect our lettuces from slugs as they seem to find them particularly delicious. Are there any plants in your garden that slugs have particularly loved?
Lettuce, ha! I know all about trying to grow lettuces. Once, I tried to grow lettuces on my allotment. I had heard that broken up egg shells are supposed to deter slugs and snails. So, I carefully sprinkled egg shell around each lettuce seedling. The next day, I had lots of empty egg shell circles. The slugs had chomped every single seedling! It looked very funny. Now, I simply grow lettuces in an old bath tub at home. The slugs don’t seem to discover them there.
Slug fact: Did you know that a slug’s slime protects it from sharp things like stones and egg shells?!
Cath Jones is the author of scores of early readers, junior and middle grade fiction and a couple of quirky picture books. She’s passionate about diversity and strong female characters in books.
Cath lives in Kent with her wife and a spoilt rescue cat. When not writing, she grows mutant vegetables on a windy allotment overlooking the sea, litter picks and sea swims.
Thank you to Maverick Publishing for sending a review copy of this amusing picture book. To read more about Slug and his friends check out the other stops on the blog tour.