Review Blog

Aug 28 2012

Python by Christopher Cheng

cover image

Ill. by Mark Jackson. Series: Nature Storybooks. Walker Books, 2012. ISBN 978 1 921528 60 3.
Recommended. Picture book. Non Fiction. Snakes. I loved Edel Wignell's Bilby secrets published last year with Mark Jackson's illustrations. And here is another environmental book, in the Walker series, Nature Storybooks, this time about the python. With the same distinctive illustrations, the book gives a detailed look at these reptiles and their background. The melding of fact and story makes this a memorable book for younger readers, involved as they are with the tale of the python surviving in the bush, and at the same time absorbing the information in different font under the story. All the words are true and this winning combination will endear readers to these books.
In Python, the work the reptile does during the day is observed as she tries to catch a bird and misses, then catches a rat, wrapping her body around it until it can no longer breath, then swallowing it whole, taking the rest of the day to rest and absorb her meal. Under each sequence of the story snippets of information about the reptile are given. When towards the end she lays her eggs, readers will be carried along with the excitement of finding out about the sometimes 100 eggs and how they hatch and what happens to the hatchlings in their first few days of life. Each page brings new information keeping the readers interest alive. The illustrations carry the story along as they stretch across the page, the mix of media: watercolour, pastel and pencil, bringing the reptile and its environment to life. Readers of all ages will find something to like in this book, and with 2013 being the Year of the Snake in the Chinese calendar, it is sure to be well used.
Fran Knight

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