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Q & A with Veda Boyd Jones regarding The Snake Who Loved TV
Q. How in the world did you get the idea for this book?
A. Believe it or not, this one I took from real life. My inlaws gave us the model of a one-room schoolhouse, a log cabin structure of about 1-foot x 1½-feet. It had been in their basement about twenty years. They brought it up in their station wagon, carried it into the house, and put it on the piano.
It took about two weeks for me to clear a place for it on a large bookcase. I carried it over and set it there. A few days later, my husband, Jim, saw a snake stick its head out of the doorway of the little schoolhouse.
We all watched him carry the house, tipped back so the snake couldn’t emerge, into the back yard. He set it down and stuck a stick inside that the snake wrapped around. Then Jim carried it to the woods behind our house and let it go.
It was a black snake, so it shouldn’t have been a big deal, but a snake in the house is a big deal to me. Don’t snakes come in pairs? Had the snake been eating crumbs under the table at night? I began hearing snake noises, like one slithering over a stack of papers.
My sister, Elaine, said I should write about it to get it out of my mind. So that’s how Jake the snake was born. I decided to write how the snake felt.
Writing therapy worked. When I see a snake now, I think of Jake the snake from this book, and I’m not afraid.
Q: What age level is this book?
A. Certainly parents can read it to their young children, but beginning readers in first and second grade should be able to read this first-chapter book.