Reviews for Pet Named Sneaker
Booklist Reviews 2013 January #1
In the tradition of misunderstood animals who just want a place to call home, meet Sneaker the snake. After being passed over at the pet store for cuter, cuddlier pets, Sneaker is finally adopted by a boy named Pete. When Sneaker sneaks into Pete's backpack and accompanies the boy to school, he makes new friends and learns to read. A story with a communicative snake would be expected to provide ample opportunity for hissing text, but there is no such wordplay, as Sneaker only utters a single word, twice, in this Beginner Book: "Yessssss." Instead, Sneaker lets his actions do the talking as he proves that snakes are not gross and slimy but friendly and helpful. Emerging readers may very well be encouraged by Sneaker's classroom example as they practice their own reading skills alongside him. Lemaitre's illustrations are reminiscent of Bernard Wabar's style, and Sneaker is as winning a reptile as Lyle the Crocodile was before him. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
In this beginning reader, Pete's pet snake Sneaker is not only good for playing games like "I Am a Necktie" and "I Am Handcuffs" but is also smart and heroic. Cartoon art in bright oranges, blues, and greens with plenty of white space has a retro feel with modern sensibilities. The pictures provide clues to comprehending the text while adding characterization and fun.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #1
This beginning reader (Heilbroner's first since Robert the Rose Horse in 1962) tells the story of Sneaker, a snake who lives in a fine pet shop but who really wants a home. He suffers considerable rejection until one day a boy named Pete chooses to take Sneaker home. Slightly reminiscent of Tomi Ungerer's Crictor, Sneaker is not only good for playing new games like "I Am a Necktie," "I Am a Hat," and "I Am Handcuffs" but is also incredibly smart and heroic. Cartoon art in bright oranges, blues, and greens with plenty of white space has a retro feel with modern sensibilities. The pictures provide clues to comprehending the text while also adding great characterization and fun. Sneaker learns to read, earning him a spot at school, and saves a life, resulting in a special pass to the otherwise "no pets" public pool. The final wordless spread eloquently shows how far Sneaker has come from his small fishbowl at the pet shop. julie roach
Kirkus Reviews 2012 December #1
Sneaker the snake proves himself a lovable pet in this beginning reader. Initially, Sneaker languishes in the pet store while other animals leave with new owners. When Pete purchases Sneaker, the pair enjoy each other's company in a series of vignettes that mark the strongest point in the story. "He had fun with Pete. He played I Am a Necktie, I Am a Hat, and I Am Handcuffs," reads the controlled text, which is accompanied by pictures of Sneaker contorting himself into the various items. When Pete goes to school, Sneaker hides in his backpack and ends up starring as the boy's offering during show and tell. At first, Pete's classmates are leery, but then "a brave girl" picks Sneaker up, and he's suddenly a hit. Then, in an abrupt shift perhaps better suited to a separate book, Pete and Sneaker visit a pool. Sneaker is not welcomed there, either, since a sign reading "NO PETS" bars him from swimming, but all's well that ends well when Sneaker rescues a child who falls into the pool. The lifeguard asks Sneaker to be his "helper," and a closing scene shows the snake serving as lifeguard to a pool filled with pets of all stripes. Throughout, cartoonish illustrations reminiscent of Syd Hoff's beginning-reader artwork reinforce the text, providing context clues and humor. A worthy title for new readers. (Early reader. 5-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 November #2
Sneaker is a sad pet shop snake until bright-eyed, freckle-faced Pete adopts him. "Sneaker liked his new home," writes Heilbroner (Robert the Rose Horse), as Lemaitre (Artist Ted) shows the new BFFs making the most of Pete's imagination and Sneaker's slithery gifts: "He had fun with Pete. He played I Am a Necktie, I am a Hat, and I Am Handcuffs." From there, it's one sweet, goofy thing after another, with the sunny, color-saturated drawings driving the action of Heilbroner's first book in 20 years. Sneaker wins over Pete's squeamish classmates and learns to read and write his name (his penmanship is impressive considering he holds the pencil in his tail). By the end of the story, Sneaker has even found meaningful work as a lifeguard at a local pool--proof positive that nice snakes finish first. Told with easygoing assurance, marvelous economy, and goodhearted humor by two pros, this Beginner Book should sneak its way into the heart of early readers. Or as Sneaker would say, "Yesssssssssssssssssss!" Ages 5-8. Agent: Julie Just, Janklow & Nesbit Associates. Illustrator's agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. (Jan.) [Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC
School Library Journal Reviews 2013 January
PreS-Gr 1--Sneaker lives in a pet store and can't seem to find a home no matter how many visitors stop by. Apparently, no one wants to buy a snake, until a boy named Pete takes him home and plays with him and shares snacks and surprises. When Pete goes to school, Sneaker sneaks into his backpack and tags along. He's a big hit with the kids and proves to be a good student, going back day after day. As summer approaches, Pete takes his pet to the local pool where he ends up saving a little boy from drowning. Sneaker soon becomes a local hero and also gets a new career as the pool lifeguard. The vivid drawings and clear cartoon illustrations provide beginning readers with picture clues to help decode the story. A winning addition for most easy-reader collections.--Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI [Page 78]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.