The Snake Who Said Shhh by Jodi Parachini

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

The Snake Who Said Shhh… is a picture book written by Jodi Parachini and illustrated by Gill McLean.

This sweet picture begins with a scene reminiscent of Bambi or even perhaps The Lion King. The animals are all very excited about Seth the Snake’s birth, but when the new arrival tries to speak, he says shhh instead of ssssss of hissss. The other animals laugh at this, and then they try to agree on a gift to give the new baby. Each animal has an opinion, and as they begin to argue with each other, they create quite a racket! Can Seth tell the other animals what he really wants?

The illustrations are beautiful. They are rendered in a fairly realistic style, and each animal’s distinctive features are showcased. This story moves beyond the barnyard and introduces the reader to a variety of animals, from elephants and crocodiles, to more esoteric animals like the bongo. The illustrations are subdued and sweet.

My girls enjoyed this book, but they wanted to know why the animals were making fun of Seth the snake. In the books that they are accustomed to reading, the animals would have learned a lesson about respect. It occurs to me that this book is better suited for younger children. This is a wonderful choice for learning more about different animals. This is also a nice reminder about being quiet: Seth is able to tell the animals “Shhh” when they are making too much noise.

I would recommend The Snake Who Said Shhh for older toddlers and preschoolers. The text is simple enough for children with shorter attention spans, and young readers will love saying “Shhh” just like Seth. My girls, who are in the early years of elementary school thought this book was cute and funny.

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