Abba Jacob is a monk who lives on a far, far away island with his loyal rat terrier, Snook. Every day, from the wee hours of dawn till the sun sets over the sea, Snook keeps Abba Jacob company as he prays or works, tending the gardens or fixing the plumbing of the little hermitage he calls home. But when the two are separated by a ferocious storm, Snook must learn to fend for himself in the wild, all alone in a world of fierceness and wonder. Will he ever again hear the loving voice that he waits for? Simply and lyrically told by award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson and beautifully illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering with wit, warmth, and affection for the natural world, this captivating tale of friendship lost and found conveys the power of faith against all odds.
About the Author
Timothy Basil Ering is the illustrator of the Newbery Medal-winning THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX by Kate DiCamillo and FINN THROWS A FIT! by David Elliott. He is also the author-illustrator of THE STORY OF FROG BELLY RAT BONE and NECKS OUT FOR ADVENTURE! He lives in Massachusetts.
What People are Saying About This
Nelson's moving portrait of Snook and his triumphant reuinion should win a wide and enthusiastic audience.
Breathtaking multimedia paintings offset by expressive line drawings amplify the power of the image-rich, heartfelt free-verse text. Ever eschewing manipulation, it nevertheless could wring tears from stone.
Acrylic and ink art depicts heavy- and light-hearted moments equally well, and while Snook and the ever-present ocean are painted realistically, Ering's cartoony representation of Abba Jacob lightens the load, balancing the story's darker moments.
—The Horn Book
Haunting and perceptive. . . . Nelson writes in delicate stanzas of effortless poetry. . . . Ering's acrylic-and-ink fades from the bright palette of the monk's abode to a nearly two-tone earthiness, and creates a style both realistic and emotional - you can almost feel the generous swaths of paint. The final reuniting is sudden, yet as genuine as everything else about the book. There is no artifice here, no foisted plot. Just a dog, waiting to resume his happiness.
Nelson's text-though prose, still poetically lyrical-depicts both island idyll and doggy realityThere's an open-air breeziness to Ering's mixed-media illustrations Snook is portrayed with a fair amount of informal realism, while baldheaded and spindly-limbed Abba Jacob is endearingly cartoonish, but their reunion-Snook bouncing into the air with glee, and both man and dog open-mouthed with joyous relief-visually encapsulates the inner boogie of jubilation such a meeting can bring.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
In charming acrylic and ink spot art that erupts into luscious colorful spreads, readers see these two friends go about their simple yet meaningful days...The poetry of the text evokes all the senses and pulls at the emotions. This book will capture the heart of anyone who has ever loved and been loved by a special pet.
—School Library Journal
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I'm not sure who would enjoy this book. It has a religious bent, since Abba Jacob is a monk. The cover makes it look like a dog story, but there is actually a lot of drama with a storm and the ocean. The dog is drawn realistically, but the monk is drawn whimsically. There is a lot of text on the page, so a reader of eight or up might enjoy it, but it is much too long for a storytime read.
"Snook Alone" is about a dog and his owner and he loses his owner and then finds his owner again. Snook and his owner love each other very much. I think kids would like it because it's about a dog that tries to make the best of when he is alone and he's waiting for his owner. I think other kids would enjoy it more if they were old enough to actually understand the words. My favorite part is when Snook is with Abba Jacob and they are praying and sleeping and cleaning toilets together. Snook alone on the island tried to make the best of it until his friend (owner) Abba Jacob returned. He didn't just stay sad and think, "I'm not going to have any fun." Even though there were a lot of difficult words, it was still great! Review by Sadie B., age 7, Greater Los Angeles Area Mensa