A boy and his terrier have no problem with wrestling squids or battling sharks, but they balk at snakes. Naturally, they are beset by every possible variety, at every possible turn. There are snakes heaped under the bed and on the stairs, and, "With a herculean grasp,/A multicolored asp/Nonchalantly shimmies up a wall." The poetry flows easily and is filled with inventive alliteration and quirky humor: "A speckled anaconda/Steals the family Honda/And races down the driveway in reverse." There is some challenging vocabulary ("pyroclastic," "phosphoresce"), but children will likely be more than willing to make the stretch. Munsinger's watercolor illustrations strike the right balance between cute and creepy as boy and dog try to evade the slithery serpents. Not an essential purchase, but fun, particularly if the other titles are popular.
Grace Oliff, Ann Blanche Smith School, Hillsdale, NJ
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