Thursday, July 27, 2023

Aaron Slater and the Sneaky Snake by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts


This is part of the Questioneers series. This is a good name for the group of friends; the books pose questions about how society works. In this story a mum is disturbed because at the zoo, a small snake falls on the head of one of her sons.  The incident gets blown out of all proportion, and even the mother recognises this.  There are calls for the zoo to be closed. The Questioneers see this as a mistake; the zoo is an important educational resource. Opinion is divided. However, the young people can see that the zoo should stay open but it must be made safe; they perceive that there is a possible win-win situation.  They combat the ignorance about snakes by giving away copies of Uncle Fred’s book about them.  The council initially votes to close the zoo but relents after the efforts of the Questioneers.         

There is quite a lot of text but also many pictures which to some extent tell more story but also illustrate what is happening. Sometimes these are presented as a separate page.  Sometimes they are integrated into the text. They are in an unusual type of monochrome: orange, brown, white and beige.   

The text is blocked and uses a simple font, though it still has a difficult ‘g’. It has 155 pages.  

There are short bios at the end of both the writer and the illustrator.  There are also some pages of extra information about snakes, frogs, hearing aids and American Sign Language. This is all written in the same style as the story and is aimed at the younger fluent reader.  

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