Sunday February 10, 2013
More slithery reads
FROM Egg To Snake: Following The Life Cycle by Suzanne Slade & Jeff Yesh: Snakes symbolise many things and carry many connotations. But on a very primary level, snakes make up an intriguing part of the animal kingdom. This book exposes young readers (older ones can benefit from it too) to the life cycle of a snake, from the moment of its growth in an egg all the way to being an adult snake.
Accompanied by fun facts and illustrations, this book is a great way of finding out more about the mysterious creatures.
The Bible: The first time a serpent makes an appearance in the Bible is to trick Adam and Eve into eating the forbidden fruit. We humans do not like being tricked. Maybe that’s why so many of us don’t have a very nice impression of this suborder of reptiles. We associate it with something sinister.
Snakes are mentioned in the Bible a number of times, from being associated with wisdom in the book of Matthew to having Aaron’s staff be miraculously transformed into a live serpent in the book of Exodus.
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling: Nagini the snake makes her first appearance in the fourth book of the Harry Potter series, Goblet Of Fire, and appears in every book thereafter. Deriving from Hindu and Buddhist legends, her name is the female version of the Naga (people who worship snakes and can transform into them). She is Voldemort’s pet of sorts, or as he states in his diary, an intended tool to safeguard his immortality.
This is one example of how snakes are often portrayed as magical creatures or beings with some sort of supernatural power. Not a creature to be messed around.
The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket: In this second book in the Unfortunate Events series – which revolves around the lives of the orphaned Baudelaire children – events start off hopefully enough when the children are taken away from their horrible guardian, Count Olaf (who is after their inherited wealth) and placed under the care of affable Uncle Monty, a distant relative – and a passionate herpetologist.
The children are fascinated by Uncle Monty’s Reptile Room and are even set to go on an expedition to Peru with him. What’s the unfortunate turn of events? Poor Uncle Monty is found dead with two tiny puncture holes under his eye. And once again, the children must scramble to save themselves.
Snake by D.H. Lawrence: Snakes have not been left out of poetry either. Lawrence’s poem speaks of the narrator’s encounter with a snake at the water-trough. The encounter turns into a battle of conflicting thoughts and feelings as the narrator contemplates his actions towards the snake.
What The Snakes Wrote by Hazel Hutchins & Tina Holdcroft: The children’s literary world seems to have a thing for literate snakes. Here we get not just one but dozens of clever snakes who together form a jumble of words in a farmer’s field. Or maybe they are not just a jumble of words. Rufus the farmyard dog takes notice of their little activity and becomes curious. What can the snakes be trying to tell Rufus? – Compiled by Amanda Soo