Thursday, October 15, 2009


Verdi is a proud python, flourishing in the flower of his youth. He loves to swiftly slither around the forest, brandishing his bright yellow skin, and can't fathom why anyone would want to be sleepy and green like the adult snakes he knows. Verdi insists, as so many youngsters do, "I will never be lazy, boring or green!" Despite his resolve to stay young, one day he notices a patch of green spreading down the length of his body. Verdi does everything he can think of to erase this first sign of the inevitable tide of age. But in his frenzy of youthful, Icarus-like bravado, he nearly kills himself. Finally, Verdi learns that even though he can't stop the aging process, green skin won't keep him from being a fun-loving, young-at-heart, figure-eight-forming snake. Janell Cannon's illustrations are exquisite. As in her award-winning Stellaluna, not only are the animal drawings painstakingly accurate, they are also awash with movement and beauty. The countless shades of greeny-yellow and yellowy-green have the effect of a cool eye compress for the reader--calming, inviting, and enticing readers to reach into the lush environment of the pages. Verdi's lesson is never didactic, always compelling, and pleasantly surprising. (Ages 4 and older) ( Review )

Grade 1-3?Verdi, a python hatchling, is born a splendid, vibrant yellow with zig-zagging stripes and is determined not to turn green, as all his folk eventually do. His jungle-green elders seem boring and lazy to Verdi, who loves flinging himself from the treetops. He gets himself out of one scrape and into another, until a bad injury sobers him. He comes to enjoy the camouflaging green that eventually creeps over him, but he's still "Verdi"?maybe a little more sedate, but never dull. Cannon's layout and illustrations are similar to those in her popular Stellaluna (Harcourt, 1993), with stunningly realistic and vibrant pictures in acrylic and pencil that feature bright greens and yellows. Each full-page, color illustration faces a white page with text and a black-and-white spot drawing and border. Some double-page spreads provide breaks in the generally well-paced story. Verdi is an easy-to-like character, and the pictures convey his exuberance and carry the story where the text occasionally falters. A page of "Snake Notes" at the end provides background information. A great read-aloud or read-alone.?Nina Lindsay, Vista School, Albany, CA (School Library Journal )

Product Description
Young Verdi doesn’t want to grow up big and green. He likes his bright yellow skin and sporty stripes. Besides, all the green snakes he meets are lazy, boring, and rude. When Verdi finds a pale green stripe stretching along his whole body, he tries every trick he can think of to get rid of it--and ends up in a heap of trouble. Despite his efforts, Verdi turns green, but to his delight, he discovers that being green doesn’t mean he has to stop being himself. “Cannon is on a roll, her gift for creating memorable characters and scenes on glorious display in this tale of a feisty python hatchling.”--Publishers Weekly

About the Author
JANELL CANNON is the award-winning author and illustrator of several bestselling picture books, including Crickwing, Verdi, and Pinduli. She lives in Southern California.