Snakes have no legs – my general impression
This book review for Snakes have no legs: A light-hearted book on how snakes get around by slithering (Awesome animals) will obviously contain spoilers. You have been warned. Kelly Tills pens the children’s book. Snakes have no legs is one of the simplest and most effective children books I have read. The book introduces children to so-called “awesome animals”. To me, it does it well. Saying this, I am going to spend a little more time on the passages that could have been improved and explain why it matters so much to me and to a children’s book.
Focus on snakes getting around by slithering
Although I liked the bit in the book about snakes having no hands for gloves, I am not sure how it was relevant to a book about how snakes get around. My point is that children’s books tend to be short and therefore don’t give much room for side pursuits. Despite distracting the reader from the book’s logical flow for a few seconds, that part was fun to read. Even though I enjoyed the book and the fun add-ons, I cannot help thinking about the subliminal and subconscious impact on the young reader and wished the author didn’t segue out of her primary course. Every sentence in the book should contribute to what the book is about, that is how snakes get around and that should be it really.
Length of sentences
I would have shortened some of the sentences e.g., “Snakes have lots of … muscles”. The last sentence “Those muscles wiggle up and down” is so fun, it would have benefitted from an analogy. I have no doubt the author would have easily found something fun with which to compare the wiggling muscles of a snake and make the reading child (and/or parent) smile. That whole page could have been a fun 3 sentences rather than a long factual one. I say this, even though the language was fun and appropriate as it is all throughout the book.
Another confusing possibly out of place bit?
Not sure about the mention of wings as relating to slithering in the air. A snake cannot move in the air because they have no wings. But not being able to slither in the air has nothing to do with wings. Just like a snake cannot walk on the ground because they have no feet. But they don’t need feet or paws because they can slither on the ground. Just a tiny logical thread missed there. As for space, I believe there are no silly questions. The series speak of awesome animals but the book evidently focuses on how snakes get around not anything else.
As a bonus, this great little book aimed at age 0 to 5 is dislexia-friendly. Indeed, Kelly Tills is a member of the International Dyslexia Association and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her bio states that “Feminism, celebrating neurodiversity, and potty humor are her jam.” Snakes have no legs is only one of 6 (at the time of writing) books in the Awesome Animals Series. The books in the series are:
- Snakes have no legs
- Pigs Never Sweat
- Geckos Don’t Blink
- Cows Have No Top Teeth
- Turtles Have Secret Ears
- Chicks Don’t Eat Candy
Snakes have no legs: Verdict
Wonderfully fun, audience-appropriate (language-wise), small, and mostly to the point children’s book about how snakes get around (I am pretty sure the subtitle did not need to mention the slithering. I enjoyed it despite the couple of slight seguing, because a fun language and a mostly to-the-point content. I am not fan of the illustrations personally but they are highly appropriate and good for the target audience. So, it is not that they are not good or lack skill, just that their style do not correspond to my personal preference. A good, fun book for children that explains difficult natural phenomenons in simple, fun terms. Children to learn with excitement about animals, or more specifically here about how snakes get around by slithering.