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A SNAKE IN THE HOUSE by Faith McNulty

A SNAKE IN THE HOUSE

By Faith McNulty (Author) , Ted Rand (Illustrator)

Age Range: 3 - 8

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-590-44758-0
Publisher: Scholastic

 On ``a sweet morning in May,'' a boy catches a snake (``small, no bigger around than a pencil'') and takes it home, where it escapes and makes its way from one hiding place to another, evading the cat and subsisting on an occasional ``dry and bitter'' spider until it happens into an outgoing basket and gets back to its pond. Adroitly, McNulty interweaves the boy's point of view (he never considers his prey's needs or comfort until, at the end, he imagines its joy at being free again) with the snake's realistically portrayed movements, a fascinating series of evasions into crevices humans hardly know exist and such familiar items as shoes and sofa springs. Rand is at his best here, with glowing depictions of the snake's idyllic pond- side home, nicely structured indoor scenes (a bowl of fruit, a cupboard full of pots, a pile of boots) where the snake slithers almost unobserved, and the boy wide-eyed with excited curiosity. Uncommonly attractive and carefully wrought, a book that makes its point even more effectively than Barbara Ann Porte's more explicit ``Leave That Cricket Be,'' Alan Lee (1993). (Picture book. 3-8)