I Need a Snake

I Need a Snake

5.0 1
by Lynne Jonell, Petra Mathers
     
 

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Robbie doesn't just want a snake, Robbie needs a snake. But Robbie's mother won't allow a snake in the house. She will let him look at snakes, though, and together they look at snakes in books, snakes at the museum, even snakes at the pet store. And after all that looking, Robbie finds a creative way to get his very own snake-and keep his mother happy.

"Will

Overview

Robbie doesn't just want a snake, Robbie needs a snake. But Robbie's mother won't allow a snake in the house. She will let him look at snakes, though, and together they look at snakes in books, snakes at the museum, even snakes at the pet store. And after all that looking, Robbie finds a creative way to get his very own snake-and keep his mother happy.

"Will win the applause of the many children who have unsuccessfully begged for a pet."-School Library Journal, starred review

Awards:
( A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Editorial Reviews

NY Times Book Review
...[A] straightforward story...about a little boy named Robbie, who wants a snake, and his mother, who informs him...that it will happen only "when you have a house of your own."
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the team that produced Mommy Go Away! comes a story for slightly older readers. Robbie yearns for a snake, but his mother won't grant his wish. She's unsuccessful at mollifying him with the usual parenting tacticsgiving him a book about snakes, taking him to the reptile section of a museum, stopping at a pet storebut her refusal turns out to have a silver lining. Robbie, drawing on his imagination, conjures up a zoo of snakes from his mother's shoelace, his sister's jump rope and his father's leather belt. "I still think they are scary," says Mommy at the conclusion. "That's why you need me," Robbie sagely replies. Jonell understands the passions of boyhood ("Why does the snake eat the mouse headfirst?" asks Robbie with a sweet smile as Mommy "looks slightly sick"), and her observations harbor a dry wit that parents will recognize. Mathers's crayoned, stick-figure characters (placed in more detailed settings than in Mommy Go Away!), effectively telegraph the story's more complicated action and emotion. For example, after Mommy denies him a snake at the pet shop, the boy's simple dot eyes register utter despondency as they peer over the edge of a bus window. But while adults will appreciate the sophistication underlying Mathers's work, some audience members may dismiss the style she adopts here as babyish. Ages 4-8. (May)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2When young Robbie decides he needs a snake, his squeamish mother is reluctant to comply. She reads him books about reptiles, and then takes him to a museum and a pet store, but still insists that he cannot have a real snake until he is grown up with a house of his own. Robbie, however, is resourceful; he finds his own snakes in the form of a shoelace, a jump rope, and a belt, as well as a solution that satisfies them both. This book is a true commentary on a loving parent-child relationship. The text is hand lettered and the oil-pastel illustrations look as though they were drawn by a gifted youngster who understands perspective and graphic design. Robbie and his mother are simple stick figures, yet their faces are filled with expression. The boy's creative spirit will win the applause of the many children who have unsuccessfully begged for a pet.Angela J. Reynolds, West Slope Community Library, Portland, OR
Kirkus Reviews
From Jonell and Mathers (Mommy Go Away!, 1997), a charming solution to the age-old dilemma of convincing parents that snakes are good pets; unfortunately, it also promotes the stereotype of female ophidiophobia. Robbie yearns to have a pet snake, and gazes at them longingly at the museum or the pet store. His mother refuses to let a snake into the house. The compromise is that Robbie creates his own snake menagerie from a jump rope, a white string scrap, and an especially fierce leather belt; his mother still thinks snakes are scary, but Robbie gallantly tells her "That's why you need me." Done in a style identical to these collaborators' first book, this one lacks the original approach readers will expect. Nevertheless, Mathers's drawings have the appropriate feel of a child's own scenes, and if Robbie's enthusiasm doesn't rub off on his mother, it will certainly convince readers. (Picture book. 4-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399231766
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/18/1998
Pages:
1
Product dimensions:
7.38(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.32(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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I Need a Snake 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Robbie wants a snake. He keeps asking his mom for one. His mom says they are scarey. So, he pretends he has a snake. In the end, he still wants a snake. I liked this book a lot.