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The Snail with the Right Heart


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Publicize in a timely way to major trade and consumer media.Targeted, active use of social media for studio visits, author/illustrator interviews, behind the scenes looks into process and materials and so on.Outreach to blogs, children's bookstores, and stores with large children's sections.Targeted outreach to science publications and to gift shops as well, if open.Outreach to LGBTQI+ groups, in particular.Outreach to museum accounts and gift, where/when possible.Extensive, wide ranging social media campaign.

About the Author

Maria Popova is a reader and a writer, and writes about what she reads on Brain Pickings (, which is included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive of culturally valuable materials. She is the author of Figuring, co-editor of A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader, and the creator and host of The Universe in Verse-an annual charitable celebration of science through poetry at the interdisciplinary cultural center Pioneer Works in Brooklyn.


"The Snail With the Right Heart," written by Maria Popova and illustrated by Ping Zhu, tells the extraordinary true story of Jeremy, the lefty snail. Snails with left-spiraling shells are a one-in-a-million rarity, and the search for a mate for Jeremy became a British media sensation. Popova's lyrical retelling and Ping Zhu's simple, charming artwork add so much to an already marvelous story, introducing readers to the genetic significance of Jeremy's rare mutation and to the concept of deep time (and how life exists within it)." -The New York Times
"A poetic introduction to evolution, mutation, and the necessary reproduction to achieve both along the way. Author Popova takes readers on a journey through time, beginning with the emergence of single-celled organisms and ending on another one-in-a-million chance: a potential future snail with a particular, rare recessive gene. Gentle, lyrical text briefly outlines the evolution of modern life on Earth before introducing Jeremy, a common garden snail with a rare left-spiraling shell, found by chance by a human scientist who had recently listened to a snail researcher on the radio....Zhu's soft, opaque illustrations of life on Earth, prehistoric and modern, micro and macro, are sure to enchant readers of all ages. The oversized trim allows her to play up the snail's tininess in long perspectives, and close-ups are luscious; both enhance the narration's sense of playful awe. A story as charmingly mesmerizing as a silvery snail's trail on a summer morning." -STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus
"In a paean to the value of individual differences that is presented on a cosmic scale, Brain Pickings founder Popova (Figuring, for adults) relates the real-life story of Jeremy, a rare garden snail found in 2015 by a retired London scientist, whose shell spiraled to the left, signifying reversed internal anatomy-including a heart positioned on the right. Because of this, Jeremy, a hermaphrodite like all garden snails, required a similarly rare mate to procreate. Against a backdrop of biology, history, and genetics, Popova calls attention to differences of ability and the problem of the gender binary. In doing so, she elegantly underscores the desirability of genetic and other kinds of diversity, which is "always lovelier than sameness" and makes communities "stronger and better able to adapt to change." Ping Zhu's (The Strange Birds of Flannery O'Connor) art, however, turns a book about a humble snail into a riot of vibrant color, making for a celebration of the "strange and lovely little snail with a left-coiling shell and a right heart" that is shot through with a strange loveliness of its very own." -Publishers Weekly

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