#87 – Sonder the Snow Snake by Annie B. Fox

4.5 Stars 

Sonder is a cute, furry snake who lives in the snowy mountains.  He has no patience to learn things he wants to do well, like playing in the snow and skiing with children.  After crashing Sonder embraces Zen-like lessons from his Grandslither, becoming patient and able to do the things he loves well.

Sonder is a snow snake.  He is a furry, snowflake white snow snake, with what looks like icy blue eyes.  Sonder lives in the mountains where children ski and snowboard.  He wants to ski with the children but does not know how.  He figures it cannot be too hard so he tries, without lessons, to ski with a little girl.  They crash and burn.  Upset, Sonder asks his grandslither for help.  (A grandslither is a grandmother in the world of snow snakes.)  She offers some sound advice that helps Sonder enjoy the slopes with all the skiers and snowboarders.

I have never heard of a snow snake, yet there must be, else why would there be a Save the Snow Snake website?  Kids will like the illustrations of blue washes (that is what I call it).  There is a feel of crispy coldness in the pages, except in Sonder, who is anything but a cold snake.  He is cute and cuddly—okay,for a snake, but Sonder is not a typical snake.  This silly, snugging snow-snake will entertain children.

The main gist of this tale is Sonder’s impatience.  Because he will not take the time to learn how to do something before trying it, he finds himself failing at each endeavor.   The impatient snake, is so very impatient he cannot learn how to ski or snowboard.  With each plunge, Sonder misses the children gliding down the mountain.  Sonder keeps trying, but will not stop for a second to learn.  He turns to his grandslither, hoping she can guide him.

I do not think an impatient child will change much after reading this story, but it is worth a try.  Worst-case scenario, the impatient child will have read a good story, with chilly, ice-blue illustrations.   Later, while playing in the snow, these same kids will be keeping one hopeful eye on the snow for movement—just in case Sonder slithers near them, wanting to play.  I do not like snakes, but I liked Sonder.  He’d be a hit stuffed . . . as a stuffed animal . . . a toy, not the real Sonder.

I almost forgot.  Five percent of the proceeds from Sonder the Snow Snake go to The Climate Education Fund.  This fund helps kids understand the science of climate change: SavetheSnowSnakes.org.   One more thing, the author says snow snakes are not real.  After reading about Sonder I did not know what to believe.  He is kinda cute.  Well, I checked and sure enough, Sonder is the only one.

Sonder The Snow Snake

Author:  Annie B. Fox
Publisher:  Cerulean Blue
Publication Date:  January 15, 2012
Number of Pages:  32
ISBN:  978-1-6053-0094-8
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