The very mention of snakes causes a shudder in many of us and so it is with the little girl in this fascinating narrative information book. ‘They slither,’ she says, and they have ‘icky slimy skin, flicky tongues and they stare’, she proffers as reasons why she really, really, REALLY doesn’t like these creature. The rest of her family in contrast are all snake lovers and patiently take turns to provide detailed explanations to counter her apprehensions.
Thus, we learn there are different kinds of slithering involving gripping, stretching, pulling, looping like a caterpillar, sidewinding and even flying; how and why snakes shed their skins as they grow; that they use their flickering tongues to smell; that their eye pupils are clues to how they hunt – and much more besides.
So interestingly and persuasively is each and every snake-related topic talked about by her family members that by the end of this excellent book, the little girl has had a change of heart about the reptiles she claimed to dislike so strongly. Not only has she turned to a relevant reference book but, her final utterance is this, ’I really, really, REEEEEALLLLY LIKE THEM!’
The accessible narrative is conveyed using a hand-lettered script accompanied by wonderfully droll cartoon style illustrations while more detailed information is spelt out in a smaller, conventional type, captioning and annotating realistically rendered and scientifically accurate drawings.