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Verdi Hardcover – April 1, 1997
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Janell Cannon's illustrations are exquisite. As in her award-winning Stellaluna, not only are the animal drawings painstakingly accurate, they are also awash with movement and beauty. The countless shades of greeny-yellow and yellowy-green have the effect of a cool eye compress for the reader--calming, inviting, and enticing readers to reach into the lush environment of the pages. Verdi's lesson is never didactic, always compelling, and pleasantly surprising. (Ages 4 and older)
From School Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is marvelous. It is extremely readable for young (3 - 6) year olds, and the art work is beautiful, with vivid colors and expressive characters (even for a snake!). Best of all, the story line is appropriate, with a message that is easily understood (be yourself; we were all young once) without being preachy. A wonderful children's book.
Fundamentally the story is simple. Verdi the baby snake zipps around happily, bored by the big green (complaining) adults. In his amusing quest to remain yellow and striped (young) he gets injured. The greens (adult snakes) take care of him by straping him to a branch so that he can heal. During his forced convalescence, he notices for the first time some of the magical beauty about him. He also learns that the big greens were once young and reckless also. Their response to the injuries that they had suffered was to want to live "the quiet life". By the time that Verdi heals, he too is big and green. At the end of the story he comes across a couple of fidgety young yellow snakes (very much as he was) and ends up playing with them (although being a bit more cautious). After all, he may be big and green, but "I'm still me".
This is a great book on several different levels. First, putting the snake as the protagonist is a refreshing change. The snake is a creature with a home, the jungle, and the portrayal makes for a less scary oportunity for children to learn some snake facts. The illustrations also help with the educational aspect, being so inviting that you are really drawn into them. Also, it is a story about growth and choices.
The language is indeed very direct and simple. In reading the comments of another reviewer, I noted the reviewer's estimation of the writing as being not up to par. I would have to dissagree, although from a less experienced perspective as the reviewer. I feel that the voice of the snake is appropriately somewhat "young".Read more ›
Once a featured title on the popular children's program "Reading Rainbow", "Verdi" begins by introducing the reader to a just-hatched green tree python who after seeing how crotchety and lazy his elders are decides not to become like them, which means fighting off his inevitable maturation. Born with an eye-catching pattern of black markings littering his canary yellow scales, Verdi is a spry snake that flings himself about the trees, a little too adventurous for his own good. While fretting over the color change in his scales and slithering about, Verdi gets himself into a heap of trouble and is rescued by the adults. As he recovers from an incapacitating injury, he learns some interesting things about his peers and discovers that getting older isn't such a bad thing after all, so long as you remain young at heart.
Cannon's story slyly schools us on morelia viridis while dazzling us with her beautiful illustrations done in acrylic paint and Prismacolor pencils (and I can vouch for that brand, as I own a large set of them - they are EXCELLENT). Her excellence at rendering the anatomy of her star reptile comes from thorough, hands-on research with the help of Clay Garrett, a herpetologist at the Dallas Zoo and Robert Brock of the San Diego Zoo.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my all time favorites for middle grade school kids! Janell Cannons's stories never disappoint and the illustrations are wonderful and whimsical! I love this story! Read morePublished 2 months ago by cat
Great book about snakes and coming-of-age. Slowing down and listening and learning, we watch this cute yellow Python grow up but still retain his sense of adventure and youth. Read morePublished 6 months ago by C. Rodda
I love this book. Childhood favorite, so i bought it for my son ♡Published 6 months ago by smartshopper22
I bought this for my 21 year old son after he reminded me it was his favorite childhood book. He was thrilled. Read morePublished 7 months ago by jennifer fry
Beautifully written and illustrated. It's great to see values and education brought together about a much feared species.Published 9 months ago by Brande Lester