Non- Cuddly Pets, and Books With Funny

Chas has bought a new, larger terrarium for Schrödinger the rapidly growing snake... and he's bought a friend for Schrödinger too. On a rainy day like today I pine for a cat on my lap, but we are sticking with pets who don't want to go out for a walk.

The new snake is a feisty little amelanistic corn snake, cream and pink and red. Chas is in love. We're waiting for a good inspired name, so if you have any ideas do tell!

Apart from reptile store forays, we're keeping warm, playing games and reading books.

Two Christmases ago I bought 'Pentago' because it was compact, easy to learn and travel-able. This game rocks! It takes moments to learn, so everyone who visits gets a tutorial and we've had mega neighbourhood tournaments. It's a five-in-a-row game with a twist: with each move, you place a marble and turn a tile. Max is a fiendish strategist and enjoys baffling guests. And I've noticed that many kids end up just playing alone, making marble patterns.

'The Three Fishing Brothers Gruff', based very loosely on the billy-goat story. Great illustrations and cut-out pages! This is an environmentally aware tale with a happy ending- but not for the greedy fishermen!

'Mr Gum' is REALLY bad. He doesn't like chocolate and does his best to make everyone miserable. He's even got awful friends. This chapter book is so funny, it had Max in stitches. Great book for newly confident readers with a weird sense of humour.

The 'Horrible Science' series is truly Horrible. Science with the gloopy bits left in! Books like 'Disgusting Digestion', 'Dangerous Diseases and Microscopic Monsters' and 'The Terrible Truth About Time' introduce kids (and grownups) to chemicals and concepts in a wonderfully slimy way. Funny cartoons, great information.


Good luck with the pet snake (which sounds like an oxymoron to me). Thanks for the Christmas ideas for 2 you know whos.
The Mother said…
Don't hate snakes, but don't really want them in my house. Let alone as pets.
Anonymous said…
The science books sound wonderful!
aclare said…
I'm just glad he's got snakes instead of there 8 legged friends. I can deal with snakes.

I'm so glad that the Bad Man Mr Gum is such a success. Just goes to show what you can find in your lunch hour in the Middle of Tescos when you actually looking for something completely different! And the Horrible Books are always classic. Dan collected all of them when he was younger so we have the old ones to give to our children. And get the newer ones from another source maybe?? Hint hint..
Unknown said…
Pet snakes ain't 'xactly my cup o' tea, if ye knows wot oy means, dearie. BUT. 'Slitherin' sounds as good a name as any, to me.

May I suggest "Agincourt" by Bernard Cornwell as good reading - although the language does get a bit rough from time to time. Rough as in 'medieval rough' - which is still a bit rough in this day and age. There is also a rather lurid description of the Massacre at Soissons which took place during the Hundred Years War (as all of this book does). But is is SUCH a good read.

Maybe this is a grownup book, though. Not for boys under 16 or 17, I'd say.