cover image Baby Rattlesnake

Baby Rattlesnake

. Children's Book Press (CA), $16.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-89239-049-6

In this winning retelling of a Native American tale, poor Baby Rattlesnake cries continuously because he doesn't have a rattle like his older brother and sister. The (rattlesnake) elders of the village finally decide to give in to the youngster, partially to silence his squalling. As predicted, the baby cannot handle the responsibility; when he loses his rattle, he comes crying home to his parents who ``gave him big rattlesnake hugs.'' Reisberg's vivid, fanciful illustrations perfectly depict the Southwestern setting; her many comical touches include a derby-sporting father rattlesnake and a heavily made-up mother. The paintings' sparkling borders make splendid use of regional designs and fauna. Even very small children will understand--and profit from--this deceptively simple story's valuable lesson. Ages 4-10. (Jan.)