Reviewer Conny Withay:Operating her own business in office management since 1991, Conny is an avid reader, volunteers reading the Bible to the elderly, and makes handmade jewelry. A cum laude graduate with a degree in art living in the Pacific Northwest, she is married with two sons, two daughter-in-laws, and one granddaughter.
Author: Nate Williams
Illustrator: Nate Williams
Publisher: Gibbs Smith
“I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Everyone knows what they want to be except me!” Hank laments in Nate Williams’s children’s book, Hank & Snoliver – What Can I Be?
First in the series, this unnumbered thirty-two page paperback targets children four to twelve years old, especially those that like books about a boy and his pet snake. Containing simple sentence structures, the book’s multi-syllable words may be more complicated for beginner readers. The strange capitalization of the snake’s name of snOliver may be confusing to some readers.
Author and illustrator Williams has a passion for inspiring creativity with his artwork. Having clients from Cartoon Network, the North Face, and Converse Shoes to name a few, he currently resides in Utah when not visiting Argentina.
With no profanity or scary scenes, colorful cartoon drawings with mainly white backgrounds grace the full pages with whimsical designs of a boy and his quirky snake. The black wording is easy to decipher in a childlike font.
This tale concentrates on inquisitive Hank and his best friend, a bowtie-wearing snake named snOliver who easily bends and twists into unusual shapes to help solve almost every problem. When Hank has to come up with what he wants to be at Career Day, he is at a loss, and snOliver cannot help him.
As the snake suggests being a golfer, Olympic archer, veterinarian, and used car salesman, Hank considers being a Spanish teacher. The reptile thinks he would make a great undercover agent or rock star, but the boy believes being an astronaut would interest him.
The child and animal build a spaceship out of a garbage can and traffic cone, and they get in physical shape for the trip. When they take off and land on Saturn, Hank realizes he wants to be an explorer. Both happily agree tomorrow they can explore again.
With the ingenious twisted positions of the snake, the illustrations draw young ones into the creative and interesting poses Although some of the pages are congested with numerous designs, the book is engaging and entertaining.
At the ending, the final page suggests the reader draws a picture of what he or she would like to explore and share it with the author’s website.
Thanks to Bookpleasures and Gibbs Smith and the author for furnishing this complimentary book in exchange for a review based on the reader’s honest opinions.