Reptile Rapport: My Snake Blake by Randy Sieger
I WAS IN MY ROOM HIDING FROM MY HOMEWORK, WHEN MY DAD KNOCKED ON THE DOOR, HANDED ME A BIG BOX WITH RED RIBBON ON IT AND SHOUTED "HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY!
HURRY UP AND OPEN IT!
C'MON! IT NEEDS AIR!"
This kid has the world's coolest dad. Inside the box is a snake. He can't believe it!
His mom can't believe it either.
"YOU'RE NUTS!" SHE SAID.
"AND PROUD OF IT." SAID DAD.
His dad urges him to take the snake out of the box. He's a really L-O-O-N-G snake, bright green. And apparently very friendly.
"H-E-L-L-O," he spells out.
This snake can write, and in perfect (bright red) cursive! Awesome!
"WHAT'S YOUR NAME?"
"I PAID EXTRA FOR THAT!" DAD SAYS.
It's a red-letter reptile birthday! Blake the snake soon puts even Mom at ease with a calming message to relax and soon wins her over with his usefulness. He helps the kid with his homework, opens the kitchen door for Mom when she staggers in with a load of groceries, and is expert in finding the keys and putting them back where they belong. He even eats the boy's Brussels sprouts which he sneaks to his pet under the table. Soon the whole family wonders how they ever got along without Blake the Snake.
Randy Sieger's My Snake Blake (Roaring Brook, 2012) is clever and eye-catching, executed as it is in black-line drawings with just the right amount of red and green to set off Blake and his remarks. Sieger even embeds a bit of humor for grownups, and English majors will enjoy his clever interjection of the English poet (William Blake) who shares this reptile's name.
As Kirkus Reviews says, "Blake the snake just might be the most spectacular pet of all time."
Pair this one with Tomi Ungerer's classic constrictor story, Crictor (Reading Rainbow Books) for a snake-centered storytime.