David Walliams, whom I had the pleasure of seeing in action in front of a very receptive audience of Christchurch schoolchildren last year, has been at it again, penning another offbeat children's tale, this time a picture book.
It's bring your pet to school day and Miranda, a girl who marches to the beat of her own drum, brings along her pet python, Penelope. Of course.
Even with a python on the loose There's a snake in my school is not quite "Snakes on a plane". For one thing there is no Samuel L. Jackson - though I'm happy to report that the school in the book does have a diverse ethnic mix of pupils, which makes a nice change from most of the picture books I read as a child.
Also, the snake in question is well behaved and non-menacing... mostly. Because there's always a bit of darkness woven into Walliams' stories.
Fans of legendary illustrator Tony Ross will enjoy the bright, energetic artwork full of animal-related mayhem and fans of "doing silly voices when reading picture books" will enjoy the pompous headmistress Miss Bloat, who, as interpreted by me, is a mix of Margaret Thatcher and Hyacinth Bucket.
I read this to my nearly 3 year old, and even though There's a snake in my school is longer and more wordy than most picture books we read together, it kept his attention until the end. Still, I think this would be better suited to school age children, if for no other reason than the school setting will make more sense to them.
There's a snake in my school
by David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross
Published by HarperCollins New Zealand