________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 7 . . . . November 26, 2004

cover

Spacesnake.

Duncan Weller.
Vancouver, BC: Simply Read Books, 2004.
32 pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 1-894965-09-4.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 8-11.

Review by Rosemary Hollett.

*** /4

excerpt:

The Spacesnake swooped and swiveled around the asteroids with just the right twist and speed so as not to be seen. It swiffed under one asteroid, swung past another, coiled up behind one more and snuck up behind the last.

Then the Spacesnake did the terrible things it had come to do.

 

Spacesnake is a mean, terrifying machine set on destruction as it invades a community of meek and mild Asterians. Its dastardly deeds include scaring the daylights out of everyone with its “metal-scraping hiss-shaking roar.” However, the Spacesnake is distracted from its reign of terror by “the mouth-watering smells of goodies freshly baked.” Thinking the coast clear, our monster sheds his armor to better munch a cookie and is revealed as a cute and harmless runt. The Asterians are relieved, life returns to normal, and the Spacesnake is repentant and alone. Finally, one Asterian arrives and befriends our little serpent.

internal art

     This book by newcomer Duncan Weller is chock full of madcap ideas and delightful surprises. For the astute reader, there are echos of a little boy’s imagination as he dreams of adventures in another galaxy.

     The text of this humorous story is brimming with techno babble and pokes fun at our reliance on the latest gadgets for entertainment. The description of the “Interpets” is particularly amusing. The writing style is an effective mix of description and action. Even though many of the sentences are long, the writing generally flows well. There are, however, several awkward passages for the young reader as well as a storyteller in a read-aloud setting.

     Weller’s drawings are done in pen and ink with metallic highlights. The black and white illustrations are filled with detail and contribute well to the zany style of the story. The richness of each image sparks the imagination, and the illustrations are as detailed as the text.

     The story is multi-layered and succeeds in some areas more than others. The isolation imposed upon the Asterians who embrace technology is obvious to adults, but it is a lesson lost on the intended audience. The overall message of forgiveness, affection and friendship, however, rings true.

Recommended.

Rosemary Hollett is a teacher-librarian at St. Emile School in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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