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I NEED A SNAKE by Lynne Jonell


by Lynne Jonell & illustrated by Petra Mathers

Pub Date: May 18th, 1998
ISBN: 0-399-23176-5
Publisher: Putnam

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)