Nicola Davies (text), Luciano Lozano (illus), I (Don’t) Like Snakes, Walker Books, 1 July 2015, 32pp., $24.95 (hbk), ISBN 9781406342833
Some families have dogs, cats or birds as pets but this little girl’s family keeps snakes. She really, really doesn’t like them. However as the story unfolds and her Mum, Dad and brother explain more about snakes, she changes her mind.
Pages of the family interaction are interspersed with facts and trivia about the characteristics and behaviour of snakes, making this quite informative and accessible for very young children. In places the font changes from italic style to represent the family to more formal print to represent facts. This reinforces the comforting presentation of the family at home balanced with the snakes in the wild. As the girl grows to understand why snakes do what they do and look the way they look, she is motivated to find out further information by herself.
The illustrations are cartoony in style for the family but manage to depict the snakes and information in a seamless way. The end papers are covered in non- threatening snakes with googly looking eyes and various patterned skins. There are inconsistencies with page numbering, with several pages missing them, an issue because there is an index. Suited to 5 year olds and above.
Reviewed by Julie Long