Sunday, June 16, 2013
Snook Alone-- Marilyn Nelson
Another discovery from my evening at Tattered Cover (please note: I did not buy this one, I just ended up putting it on my wish list).
Snook is a dog, some kind of terrier, who lives on an island with his beloved companion, a monk named Abba Jacob. Snook, like any loyal companion, follows Abba Jacob on his daily rounds-- through prayers, and gardening, and meals. As Abba Jacob completes his daily activities, Snook works hard at keeping the island free of mice and rats.
One day, the Society for the Presentation of St. Brandon's Atoll, asks Abba Jacob to help catalogue the plants and animals on a new island. Snook goes along and discovers that this island is full of rats and other small animals. When a storm comes up, Snook is so busy, that he doesn't hear Abba Jacob's voice and gets left behind. And then his waiting begins.
This is definitely a picture book for older kids. It's fairly long. It's full of rich, complex, and interesting vocabulary (atoll, carpace, handlebar mustache). The watercolor illustrations by Timothy Basil Ering (who also illustrated Necks Out For Adventure and Tale of Desperaux- how did I never put those two together?) perfectly evoke the moods of loneliness and loyalty. I could definitely see myself using this in study of theme (loneliness or loyalty).
And as a dog lover, I especially loved the ending.