Slithery Jake

Rose Marie Provencher

Book - 2004

A rhyming story about the hysteria that ensues when a new pet snake is found missing from his cage.

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Stories in rhyme
Picture books
New York : HarperCollins 2004.
1st ed
Physical Description
unpaged : col. ill
Main Author
Rose Marie Provencher (-)
Other Authors
Abby Carter (illustrator)
Review by Booklist Review

PreS. Is there a snake hiding somewhere in the house? When Sid tells the family that his pet snake,ake, is gone, Ma and Aunt Annie screech hysterically. Dad laughs, until, by mistake, / he sat on a hot dog and thought it wasake. The ding-dong rhyme and wild watercolor pictures extend the farce, as flashes ofake's neon-green color are suddenly everywhere. Isake in the bed? In the closet? Inside a book? In Grandpa's take-out noodle lunch? Under the rug? But it's not only scary, it's also sad that Sid's pet is gone, so the family makes a plan to help findake--which leads to one last surprise. With just the right combination of shivers and slapstick comedy, this is a read-aloud that makes the coziest household objects suddenly a source of delicious, slithery fun. --Hazel Rochman Copyright 2004 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

The star of this mildly diverting rhyming tale gives its young human owner the slip almost as soon as it arrives in the house. Comic chaos and paranoia quickly set in, as the entire family simultaneously searches for and seeks to avoid the snake named Jake: "Grandmother fainted while stirring the stew,/ For one of the noodles looked like-you know who," writes Provencher (Mouse Cleaning). Carter (The Invisible Day) renders her daily-life-run-amok situations in translucent washes of color, but the combination of exaggeration and delicacy does not quite coalesce. Still, the illustrator wins points for gamely playing up each vignette's slapstick quotient for all it's worth-in one scene, a terrified Aunt Annie flies down the stairs and almost off the page, her eyes bugged and every molar in her gaping mouth delineated. Just when things look darkest for Jake ("I hear they exterminate snakes," says Aunt Annie as she departs indignantly), Pa proposes that the family "camp out till we find where the danged thing is hid./ .../ We'll sleep where he ain't till we know where he is." Even youngest readers will anticipate that this strategy will have the opposite outcome, but they'll get a giggle from Jake's reappearance all the same. Ages 4-up. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3-This amusing tale in rhyme plays on a familiar fear of having an undesirable creature lost in the house. When Sid comes home with a snake that he wants to keep as a pet, Ma expresses strong reservations, but his parents decide to sleep on the decision. At breakfast the next morning, the boy announces that Jake is nowhere to be found, setting off an easily imagined level of hysteria. A hilarious hullabaloo ensues as everyone fears Jake's slithery presence and the family goes to the extreme of camping outside until the animal's whereabouts can be determined. Only Sid, and, to a lesser extent, Pa, are concerned for the reptile's safety. All's well that ends well when the snake is discovered in the most ironic of spots. Wacky, off-kilter illustrations serve this humorous tale well. From the youngest to the oldest, all of the relatives are portrayed with the same corkscrew curls done up in different styles. Levity and good fun give this story broad appeal.-Rosalyn Pierini, San Luis Obispo City-County Library, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Horn Book Review

When Sid's pet snake, Jake, escapes from his box, all of Sid's relatives get the heebie-jeebies imagining that they see Jake in a pot of noodles, on the floor (it's really the cat's tail), etc. Although the humorous story captures the creepiness of having a snake on the loose, the rhyming text contains awkward patches, and the watercolor art looks rather faded. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

When Sid finds a snake and brings it home, he names him Jake, but family hysteria ensues when Jake escapes from his box. Each family member mistakenly sees the snake: Pa sits on a hot dog and thinks it's Jake; Grandma faints when a stew noodle looks like you-know-who; the dog yelps at the twitching cat's tale. When assorted food goodies don't coax Jake out of hiding, Pa decides they'll camp outside until he's found. But where would an escaped snake go? Outside, of course; there they find Jake stretched out in the hammock. The quirky watercolor illustrations match the frenzy and capture the chaos of the rhyming story related by Sid with exaggerated expressions adding to the fun. An enticing cover, good title, and funny family will slither the tale into popularity. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.