God Creates a Snake

Charles Peterson, illustrated by Brian Russell

Publisher: Underfold Pages: 32 Price: (paperback) $12.99 ISBN: 9780985927738 Reviewed: September, 2019

A colorful picture book depicting a unique origin story, God Creates a Snake is like a successful comic strip: light on words, leveraging a solid punch line, and accessible to all ages.

The angels at “Creation Station” send Snake from the waiting room into God’s office for a meeting before Snake is placed on earth. There, Snake learns about all the great stuff it can already do: swim, travel on land, and even climb trees. Snake is thrilled. Then he asks how fast he will be able to run, assuming God will soon add legs to his body. But here, God is forced to break some bad news: He’s used up all the available legs. Distraught, Snake wonders how this is possible—when in walks Centipede with a plethora of limbs.

A charming and funny book that borrows elements of the classic origin story but makes this one its own, God Creates a Snake will appeal to many children for its bright and engaging illustrations and easy-to-follow speech bubble style. (Some may object that not all snakes can climb trees as suggested in the book, but that’s a quibble.) The punch line at the end is surprising and truly funny. And the snake’s expression when he realizes that God has given all the legs away is priceless.

Although the story features a Judeo/Christian take on God, it does so in a way that feels secular enough to appeal to households of other faiths, as well.

Engaging illustrations and sparse, punchy text make for an easy read—one that youngsters are sure to find amusing.

Also available as an ebook.

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