________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 5 . . . . October 26, 2007

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Lilly and the Snakes. (First Novels; 37).

Brenda Bellingham. Illustrated by Clarke MacDonald.
Halifax, NS: Formac, 2007.
61 pp., pbk. & hc., $5.95 (pbk.), $14.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-0-88780-723-7 (pbk.), ISBN 978-0-88780-727-5 (hc.).

Subject Headings:
Lilly (Fictitious character: Bellingham)-Juvenile fiction.
Garter snakes-Juvenile fiction.
Snakes-Juvenile fiction.

Grades 1-3 / Ages 6-8.

Review by Sandi Harrison.

**** /4

excerpt:

“Murderer,” Philly screeches.

“Don’t be silly,” Mrs. Dooley presses her hidden alarm buzzer. A security guard strides in. “Jason, please take those two older girls outside. Then lock the door. We’ve lost a snake and I don’t want it in the mall. It’s dangerous.”

Jason turns pale. “A snake? I don’t have a gun.”

“You don’t need a gun.” Mrs. Dooley rolls her eyes. “The snake’s not dangerous. The people are. Someone might step on the snake.”

     Half-day Wednesdays were going to be a bore for Lilly, but, with the newly caught garter snakes at the pet store, Wednesday afternoons are shaping up to be anything but. When the snakes go missing, Lilly is in for an afternoon she won’t soon forget—and the experience is one that changes her artistic ability for the better.

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     Lilly and the Snakes explores several issues important to children, including group dynamics among circles of friends, parental approaches regarding babysitters (or lack thereof), and feeling lonely. In and amongst these subtly explored subjects also lies factual information about snakes which will intrigue both boys and girls alike. The writing bounces along cheerfully, and while issues are never in-depth, the implied emotions and situations are enough to allow readers to explore them by paralleling their own experiences with Lilly’s. Comedic situations make this book thoroughly enjoyable, and children will enjoy reading it to themselves.

Highly Recommended.

Sandi Harrison, who completed her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature at UBC in May 2007, is currently in the Education program at SFU.

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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