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The Rattlesnake Who Went to School Hardcover – July 22, 2004


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (July 22, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399235728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399235726
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 8.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,587,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-K–Crowboy is worried about the first day of school so he decides to turn himself into a rattlesnake. No one in his family seems to notice, even though he slithers down the stairs, wraps himself around chair legs, and refuses to eat anything a snake wouldn't eat. Although he expects his teacher to be afraid of him, she reassures him by saying, "Don't worry, Crowboy. You'll make friends." Surprisingly, a classmate finds him amusing and tells him that she wants to be a rattlesnake, too. The last spread shows the two of them, in human form, playing together on the jungle gym. This story is just right for youngsters who are anxious about this new experience. The flowing illustrations done in chalk pastels beg readers to look more closely at the details as they enter the boy's imaginary world. The images and the lines of text twist and turn through the pages just like a rattlesnake. Children will enjoy this clever mix of fantasy and reality.–Sandra Welzenbach, Villarreal Elementary School, San Antonio, TX
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr.1. Crowboy is afraid of starting school, so he imagines himself as a fierce rattlesnake who slithers downstairs to breakfast, crawls under the seat on the school bus, and hisses, hides, and shows his fangs in class--until he makes friends with a girl. The fear of the first day is universal, and children returning to school after vacation as well as newcomers will welcome the fantasy of being a hissing monster. Crowboy is an Indian kid, and the bright pastel and acrylic illustrations show a realistic Southwest desert setting as well as geometric patterns on the rattlesnake monster in the busy, diverse classroom. In the end, Crowboy has fun with his new blond friend, who grosses him out with a lunch bag of what rattlesnakes like to eat. When they play together on the jungle gym, the pictures show Crowboy as his mischievous and smiling self as the snake slides away. Hazel Rochman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Allen Greenbaum HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on May 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Out in the Southwest, young "Crowboy" has unsettled disturbing thoughts about his first day at school. In Lynne Cravath's colorful illustration, swirling images pour from Crowboy as he lies awake, scared and worried. What can one young boy do to face the imagined onslaught? Like so many kids, he takes on a new persona, a protective, "tough" image:

"So when Crowboy woke up, he decided to become a snake. Not just any old snake-a mean old rattle snake with very sharp teeth. He crawled downstairs to eat breakfast in one smooth slither."

Cravath draws him as a snake--a fearsome snake with big eyes and a long red tongue. On the bus, the snake scares the kids by wrapping himself around their legs (in a nice touch, the words wrap around the page too). It turns out that this isn't an entirely successful coping style, for some of the kids scream and try to kick him. But the boy rationalizes this away: "Crowboy didn't mind. Snakes are used to kicks and screams."

This is one scared boy heading for trouble, even if he thinks his snakedom makes him a safe outcast. He won't sing, and he pretends to bite some potential friends. However, when one disarming girl with big eyes and a kind heart befriends him, shows that she's not afraid, and even accepts his snake status (in a great picture that combines weird, "ugly," yet friendly images, Cravath shows the bagful of oddly shaped worms and insects that the girl brought for Crowboy's lunch!). Though Crowboy rejects the rattlesnake lunch, he accepts her offer of friendship-and he sheds his snakeskin. They agree that they'll be snakes together, although the last page shows them as boy and girl happily climbing a play structure.
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