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
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)
From School Library Journal
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
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Ages. 5^-8. A python baby leaves his mother and enters the tropical world. "Grow up big and green," she calls after him, but Verdi much prefers his snazzy yellow skin with stripes, finding the big green snakes boring and sedentary. He determines to keep both his yellow skin and his adventurous, fast-moving lifestyle, and he goes zinging about the rain forest until eventually--"Whippety, whappity, fwip, fwap, WHAM!" During his recovery, Verdi grows to appreciate slowing down enough to notice things, but when a couple of cheeky, young yellow snakes come along, he proves that he can still have fun. The rich greens and shiny yellows of the jacket art are sure to entice youngsters, and Cannon's acrylic-and-pencil illustrations look almost three-dimensional with the blend of plain gray pencil and brightly colored paints. As she did in her very popular Stellaluna (1993), Cannon blends natural science with story, providing a double-page spread of added information on snakes. Even if the pace drags in places, Verdi is both an endearing youngster and an admirable elder. Susan Dove Lempke
From Kirkus Reviews
Cannon (Trupp, 1995, etc.) strikes a fragile balance between fact and fiction in her presentation of Verdi, a very small, bright yellow python who does not want to grow up into the adult snakes he knows: green, boring, and rude. He tries to race off, wash off, and cover up all signs of his own encroaching green, until an accident forces him to slow down. He grows up big and green and slumbrously silent as he drapes on a branch in the tropical sun. When two very yellow, very small pythons chance upon him as he basks, they fidget and whisper and snicker; rather than be annoyed, Verdi recognizes that ``they're just like I used to be'' and offers to show them the fancy figure eight he perfected, with some mishap, as a youngster. He may be an adult, but he's still the same old Verdi, he thinks, rejoicing--a delightful, airy thought to leave with young readers. Once again, the author's acrylic and colored pencil full-page drawings are carefully observed, apt, and radiant. An afterword provides sufficient information on snakes to appease those in search of deeper knowledge. (Picture book. 4-10) -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Young Verdi doesn't want to grow up to be big and green. He likes bright yellow skin and sporty stripes. Besides, all the green snakes he meets are lazy, boring, and rude. Despite his efforts, Verdi turns as green as the leaves on the trees, but to his delight, he discovers that being green doesn't mean he has to stop being himself. Full color. Ages 5 and up. -- Ingram
About the Author
Janell Cannon's picture books have won many awards and are beloved around the world. She is the author and illustrator of Verdi, Crickwing, Pinduli, and the long-time bestselling classic Stellaluna. Born and raised in Minnesota, Ms. Cannon now lives in Southern California.
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