Children's LiteratureBenito has built a store deep in the rain forest to serve his neighbors. But one day a rat is discovered in the store and no one wants to shop there any more. His sister Vilma realizes he needs a boa constrictor to chase away the rat, and sets out to find him one. All week neighbors bring him boas of sorts, but none is suitable. Lying in his hammock in despair, Benito is surprised to see a boa climb up the rope to his roof. The next day the rat is gone, and the people come back to his shop. As Vilma happily notes, he did not find a boa; "The boa chose Benito." The rain forest setting, depicted with cut paper and paint, creates attractive scenes with few details. The focus is on Benito and a variety of snakes. The rat appears early, but then again only running away, so we miss some visual fun. But the large boa slithering across the front and back of the jacket along with many more on the end-papers and throughout, all add to the appeal of the simple story. 2005, Star Bright Books, Ages 4 to 8.
Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz