Picturebook Review: My Snake Blake by Randy Siegel and Serge Bloch


My Snake Blake, written by Randy Siegel and illustrated by Serge Bloch, is a funny book about a boy and his pet. One day a young boy's father gifts him with a pet. Is it a puppy, cat, guinea pig, mouse? No, his father has brought home a large green snake. Of course the young boy is thrill, but his mother is not. She worries he might bite or squeeze. But soon Blake the snake shows just how smooth and smart he can be, and becomes a loved member of the family.

My Snake Blake is fun, and delightful in showing that animals, and in turn people, can be much more than they appear. Although some parents that are a wee bit squeamish around less expected pets might not like the ideas that this book might put in their little one's head. The snake is not slimy or dangerous. Instead Blake spells out words like relax, and is a great help to have around. I think the story can be used to deal with not getting what you ask for, since the other option might just be better, and not to judge people or pets based on assumptions. You never know what hidden talents a snake, mouse, or new kid in school, might have hidden beneath the surface.

My Snake Blake can be used to help kids with reptilian fears, sad about not getting what they want, or those that just like a fun and colorful picturebook. As a mom, I do not want to fend off pet snake requests that this story might trigger, but my acceptance of lizards and all sorts of wacky pets might just curtail those desires. The story works well as a story time or classroom reading book, to encourage independent reading, or in a one on one setting.

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