Snook Alone – Written by Marilyn Nelson and Illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering

Snook Alone, Written by Marilyn Nelson and Illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering, 2010, Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press. 9780763626679.

Age Range: 7-10 years.

Awards: Booklist Editor’s Choice: 2010, Bulletin Blue Ribbons: 2010, SLJ Best Books for Children: 2010.

No Author Website.

Illustrator Website:

Media Used: The illustrations were done in acrylic and ink.  (Information from copyright page in book.)

Annotation:  Abba Jacob, a monk, and his faithful pup Snook are the best of friends.  They do everything together.  One day though, a ferocious storm separates the two, but Snook fends for himself while waiting for Abba Jacob to return.

Personal Reaction:  This is such a cute and fun book to read.  Living on a faraway island, Abba Jacob and his rat terrier Snook have a daily routine that keeps them both busy.  Even when Abba Jacob is working, one will usually be able to find Snook right by his side.  Snook loves hunting too, and makes sure to keep Abba Jacob’s kitchen rat free!

One day though, the two get separated during a storm on the island.  At first, Snook holds on to the scent of his master.  Quickly though, that scent starts to fade.  Every day that Snook is on his own, he has a new adventure to take on, but he always thinks back to Abba Jacob coming to get him. 

Through the power of prayer and faith, the two are finally reunited in the end.

This is a quick read, but it does contain a lot of words that might seem foreign to the younger readers.  These especially include words that describe the foliage around the island.  Besides that though, I think that most readers will really enjoy this story.

As the owner of a puppy myself, I cannot imagine what it would feel like to lose my dog.  Throughout reading this story, it really pulled on my heart strings to think of poor Snook out on his own in the wild of the island.  I was happy to read that in the end the two were reunited.

Use of Simile: “When Snook lunged, the crab fended him off with its claw, like a boxer with one giant glove.”

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