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Comments for The Sea Serpent and Me

The Sea Serpent and Me: 05/29/14

cover art

The Sea Serpent and Me by Dashka Slater is about a little girl and a baby sea serpent. Sometimes you're suddenly needed, as she learns when the serpent drips out of the tap and into her bath. She decides to keep it, first because it's a baby and later because it's a cute pet. But wild animals &emdash; even serpents, need to be in the wild.

Slater's book reminds me of two other books about children and unusual animals &emdash; Bog Baby by Jean Willis and Clifford the Big Red Dog by Norman Bridwell. The Sea Serpent and Me and Bog Baby both pose the problem of the magical baby animal who can't survive in captivity.

Clifford and the Sea Serpent share their large size and rapid growth, except that Clifford, as a dog, is a pet from the very get go. Thus the lesson with Clifford is the importance of adjusting to the needs of the pet (moving to the countryside to a house with a giant sized dog house). Here, though, the serpent is wild and needs to be released before it's too late.

My daughter and I read the book together. Rather, she read, and I listened. We were both reminded of the early weeks of caring for Tortuga, the stray kitten I brought home because she was too young for the local animal shelter. Originally we had planned to foster Tortuga until she was old enough to be adopted. We had seen her more as a a bog baby or sea serpent but she quickly became part of our family and became a Clifford.

Five stars

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