By Amy Hackworth.

I am hard pressed to tolerate – let alone love – a snake, but Crictor steals my heart, just like he steals the hearts of an entire French town in Tomi Ungerer’s Crictor, first published in 1958.

When Madame Bodot’s son sends her a boa constrictor from the jungle where he lives, she is understandably alarmed. But she and the snake become unlikely friends and in the end, Crictor saves the day for the entire town. The line drawing illustrations are fun and engaging and it’s got that Reading Rainbow seal of approval. Who knew a snake could be so lovable?