I recently wrote this summary and review of David Walliams and Tony Ross’s new picture book, There’s a Snake in my School! for Reading Zone.
It was bring-your-pet-to-school-day, and Miranda had a pet with a difference – a giant snake! At first, her classmates were terrified of Penelope the python, but they soon came to realise she could be great fun. Penelope loved children and could transform into a climbing frame, a slide and even a fireman’s pole.
Miss Bloat, the headmistress, wasn’t so keen. At the shock of seeing a snake, she confiscated all the pets and even stuffed Penelope into a bin. When Miranda knocked on Miss Bloat’s door to ask for her back, she got quite a surprise. Miranda and Penelope saved the day, but things were never quite the same for Miss Bloat.
This book is a celebration of being different. Miranda is fun and brave, and she really doesn’t care what people think. Walliams’ mischievous humour shines through and the story is brought to life by Tony Ross’s lively and characterful illustration style. The drawings of the snake are especially beautiful, and really capture the imagination. A creative use of typography adds to the visual charm of the book.
The mildly dark sense of humour lends this picture book to a slightly older age group. It would be great to read aloud, and is the perfect length and style for a reception class story time. It would also be fun to share at bedtime with plenty to spot and discuss in the illustrations.