by Nicola Davis
Illustrated by Luciano Lozano
Review by KM
I’m spending a lot of my time around kids lately as I’ve taken on three different classes for library outreach. It is seriously a blast and makes Thursdays one of my most beloved days of the week, but I can admit it’s hard to find books that are going to be great and appeal to all the ages I come across. One thing that unites the interest of 96% of the kids I see? Animals. Especially Reptiles.
This book came into our library yesterday and I’m totally in love. My coworker saw it during processing and dropped it off to me, knowing that I bought a new snake last month. I’m definitely thinking of a library program using this book, my little python (when he gets a bit bigger), and the 50 wooden snakes we have over in our craft supplies.
This little girl has a problem. Her family doesn’t have dogs, or cats, or birds—they have snakes! And she really, really, really really doesn’t like snakes. Her family can’t understand her dislike, but they can help her understand why snakes do the things they do and look the way they look. And maybe once she knows more, she will start to like snakes a little . . . or even a lot. Packed with snake trivia, this clever story includes realistic illustrations and simple explanations of snake behavior sure to make even slither-phobic readers shed their misconceptions about these fascinating reptiles. Back matter includes a note about snakes, a bibliography, and an index.
I was totally expecting this to be a feel good story about how a girl meets a snake and ends up loving it after it doesn’t eat her. I was so happy to be wrong. (But I can admit it, that book would’ve made me smile too. I really love snakes.)
What this book does is take a bunch of typical reactions to snakes and debunk them or explain why they’re not so creepy as they seem. It confronts issues that make a lot of people fearful of snakes, like the lack of eyelids, the way they slither, and whether or not they’re slimy. It’s informational, definitely, but with the style that makes it seem fun and easily readable.
I love the illustrations too. They seem doodle-esque, but in a great way. There is one particular photo that reminds me a of a cheese pizza snake and I know the kids are going to love that.
Now that I have a new librarian who isn’t so into snakes, I wonder if this book is going to help her out. I sure hope so; I’m really hoping to bring Snoot into our kid’s area for a presentation sooner or later.