Snakes! by David Greenberg, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger
Rating: 4.5 stars
This book is not for the faint of heart! If your child is already afraid of snakes, perhaps...choose another title. And if your little reader is intimidated by a lot of big, unknown words, perhaps...choose another title.
This is a romp of a tale told by a sophisticated author whose word choice is awesome and hilarious and challenging and, for sure, different. I'll give you a sample of what I'm talking about:
Tangled like spaghetti
Slithery and sweaty
Nesting in a heap beneath your bed.
Can you feel your mattress shaking?
Slowing they're awaking
And it's months and months and months since they have fed
What a horrifying rustle
Of cartilage and muscle
Very very slowly they unwind
Tongues abruptly flickering
Whispering and snickering
They wriggle off to see what they can find
Every stanza impresses me! And, wonderfully, Lorelei and Ben are of the age where they appreciate the rollicking feel of the poem, and Lorelei needs to be challenged by words in this book. She knows almost all the words she comes across in books, but this one...this one makes her realize how many fun ones there are out there! For the child who is already reading but either isn't into chapter books (for whatever reason) or isn't ready for the subject matter of chapter books, this is a good little series of books to check out.
The other wonderful thing about this book, and others by David Greenberg (including Skunks! and Bugs! and Slugs!) is the icky nature of them. They are so far from the clean, pink world of most princess books...I love it!
Hold on, gotta go check for snakes under my bed...