Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  2,407 ratings  ·  149 reviews
Young Verdi doesn’t want to grow up big and green. He likes his bright yellow skin and sporty stripes. Besides, all the green snakes he meets are lazy, boring, and rude. When Verdi finds a pale green stripe stretching along his whole body, he tries every trick he can think of to get rid of it--and ends up in a heap of trouble. Despite his efforts, Verdi turns green, but to...more
Hardcover, 56 pages
Published April 1st 1997 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1997)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinGreen Eggs and Ham by Dr. SeussGoodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Best Children's Books
228th out of 3,023 books — 4,388 voters
My First Fun Golf Steps by Anna OthitisThe Cat in the Hat by Dr. SeussWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakAre You My Mother? by P.D. EastmanFour is a little, Four is a LOT by Cheska Komissar
Books for four-year-old children
64th out of 221 books — 162 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I read this book today to the Kindergarten class I am observing because it tied into the discussion they've been having for a while about the animals of the rainforest. My cooperating teacher thought this was an especially good time to read this book because it's about a python and they are studying the various types of snakes right now. Overall I thought the story was wonderful. The illustrations were beautiful and the kids were very engaged. The whole concept of a snake's point of view on molt...more
I read this for my Children's Lit class, as I plan on becoming a librarian. The class isn't required but I see it coming in handy someday. For all the really frustrating, overly watered down and unimaginative children's books you find, there's always one or two jewels: this was one of those jewels.

Janell Cannon, the acclaimed author of Stellaluna, puts a new spin on the coming-of-age story by telling it through the eyes of Verdi the snake. When the mother snake sent her hatchlings out into the...more
Verdi is a young python, he is yellow with stripes and has no desire to grow up and grow green. He wants nothing but to jump, climb and keep moving around the jungle, never growing old, growing lazy and green. He wanted to keep his yellow skin and his stripes, but slowly the green started. All the while the older green snakes and other animals watched. They knew the feelings that Verdi was having, they remembered, so they tried to tell him stories to sooth him. Then, after he really had turned t...more
Kasey O'brien
Verdi is a book that grown-ups and kids alike will love and relate to. Verdi is a young, yellow snake. He can move fast and do all sorts of neat tricks that the old and slow green snakes don't seem to be able to do. All they want to do is sit around and enjoy nature and talk, which is a young snakes's worst nightmare. Little Verdi's biggest fear in life is turning into a big green snake and becoming boring. When he sees the first signs of green in his skin he panics and does all sorts of crazy,...more
Angela Diamond
Title: Verdi by Janell Cannon; Published by Harcourt Brace & Company,1997

Summary: A young yellow python does not want to grow slow and boring like the older green snakes he sees in the tropical jungle where he lives. He does everything he can to keep himself from turning green, even attempting to leave mud on him until it ends up cracking off. When he eventually turns green he blends in so others creatures don't notice him but when two young yellow pythons doubt his ability to have fun, he s...more
Jordan Brown
Author and Illustrator: Janell Cannon
Reading Level: ages 5-10

Cannon, Janell (1997) Verdi Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Verdi is yet another masterpiece by children's author, Janell Cannon (also one of my personal favorites). It follows the story of a young snake, by the name of Verdi, who is horrified to discover his yellow skin is becoming green. He likes his yellow color and seeks various ways to be rid of the green color overtaking his skin. Eventually he accepts the change, excitedly...more
Brandy Falk
Verdi is a great story about a little snake who doesn't want to grow up. His mother tells him to grow up big and green, but Verdi is determined to do just the opposite. All the green snakes he meets are lazy and boring; he wants to stay young, yellow, and full of fun and energy. Unfortunately, no matter what he does, he can't stop the inevitable green from making its way across his skin. Verdi does everything he can think of to erase it, catapulting himself through the treetops until: Wh...more
We all grow up. In both physical ways, as well as in personality, Verdi does not want this change to occur though. In his efforts to remain childlike, and despite the warnings of his lazy elders, his rambunctious actions lead to an injury. It takes this unfortunate act, to finally make Verdi see how the adults were only trying to prevent him from being hurt like they were.

Once again, Cannon provides a combo-pack of a moral lesson wrapped in information about the animals. This time it is snakes,...more
Morgan Forrest
Genre: Picture Book/Modern Fantasy
Lexile: 620
F&P Level: O
Age: Primary

Verdi is a wonderful children's book about a young python named Verdi. We follow the rambunctious Verdi through the jungle where he lives, as he flies through the trees and zips along vines. Verdi prays that he will never be like the older, green pythons who just bask in the sun all day. He scoffs at them and ignores their warnings that all his antics will eventually result in hurting himself. One day, after Verdi crashes...more
Stephanie Delvecchio
Summary: Verdi is a proud python, flourishing in the flower of his youth. He loves to swiftly slither around the forest, brandishing his bright yellow skin, and can't fathom why anyone would want to be sleepy and green like the adult snakes he knows. Verdi insists, as so many youngsters do, "I will never be lazy, boring or green!" Despite his resolve to stay young, one day he notices a patch of green spreading down the length of his body. Verdi does everything he can think of to erase this first...more
Kellie Deruwe
Verdi, written by Janell Cannon is also the author of Stellaluna. I decided to pick this book up because Stellaluna was one of my favorite books as a child. Verdi is about a little bright yellow snake with sporty stripes. Verdi loves the color of his skin but his mother tells him he needs to grow up big and green. One day he went out to try and understand why his mother wanted him to grow up big and green. All he found was the big green snakes were lazy and rude. Verdi did not want to become lik...more
I know that Stellaluna is the first of this author's children's books, but I came upon Verdi first and as a result, it's my favorite of the two.
Verdi is a young, bright yellow python with sporty stripes... And he doesn't want to grow up to be big and green. All the green adult pythons are lazy and boring... They're too tired to play and Verdi wants to remain quick and young. But one day, a dreaded pale green stripe appears, telling him that his own green adulthood is nearly upon him -- and Verd...more
Julia Jasztal
Mommy's review from 7/27/10 -

When we saw this on display at the library we both went right over to it. Julia is totally in love with reptiles right now so this front cover was really amazing to her.
I think my favorite part is when Verdi meets the two young snakes while sunning himself and decides to climb with them. The whole circle of life thing that Julia really didn't grasp on her own just yet did it for me.
We both liked the progress Verdi made in regards to getting older and changing into...more
Another wonderful story from Janell Cannon, this time with a message about growing up. I truly love the way Cannon tells her stories, being creative, well written, and of course accompanied by stunning illustrations. Cannon always includes some notes about the animal that stars in the book that are great for learning a bit about the animal. As with all of Janell Cannon's book, I highly recommend Verdi to everyone.
Nicole Agadoni
Verdi is a young python who suffers from Peter Pan syndrome. He wants to stay young and green forever! He views the older, yellow pythons as lazy and boring because all they ever do is lay around. As he comes of age and begins to molt, he gains wisdom and begins to relate to the yellow pythons. This is a wonderful story, and I really enjoyed the snake's point of view. It is relatable to students, and it is also factual. This could be used in a lesson about the animals of the rainforest or reptil...more
By the same author as Stellaluna, the story of Verdi is equally heart warming. It is a story about a young snake and his need to not turn green and become boring like all of the older snakes. The style of illustration is captivating. It uses vibrant pencil drawings draped on painted backgrounds that convey movement and excellent character depictions.
I don't remember very much about the plot of this book but it had a major impact on my life. I had a nurse read it to me when I was younger and very sick. After listening to the story and then receiving the book from her, I decided I wanted to become a nurse. Today is the day I graduate from nursing school!
Wendy Daniel
Verdi is absolutely, hands down, one of my favorite books ever! The young snake that doesn't want to get old and lazy is a perfect way to increase children's (ages 3-8) vocabulary and their narrative skills. It's wonderful when Verdi realizes that he can still be active, but it's fine that he is growing up.
Savannah Bryant
A heartwarming book, Verdi shows us that growing up isn't all that terrible, and despite age we will always be children at heart. This story will be inspirational for both children and adults alike. While reading this book I felt myself reminiscing my own childhood and precious memories.
Annie Zuckerman
Verdi is a young snake that would rather stay yellow and young forever than group up and turn green. One day he finds that he is beginning to turn green so he tries a variety of things in an attempt to get rid of it. Much to his dismay, he discovers that he cannot get rid of the green. He eventually sheds his skin and turns green. Although initially uncertain about the change, Verdi finds that his new color is not so bad because he can still act himself.
This is a great story of individuality an...more
What a great book. I'll have to give this to several kids I know. The story tells a tale of being true to yourself despite change. The illustrations are captivating- I never thought I could identify with a happy snake. Verdi will take you there.
Verdi is a hatchling tree python with a problem. His mother has told him to grow up big and green, but every adult snake, Green, he's met is boring and tired or grumpy. He figures that if he is just fast enough, he won't turn green--and, of course, adventure ensues. I usually editorialize in parts of this story, and do a little intro about snakes--pointing out that when we grow, we just get new clothes, but when a snake grows, it sheds its skin--things like that. This beautifully illustrated sto...more
Apr 09, 2013 Bernard rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bernard by: Paula Assaf
My Mom gave this book to my youngest son one year for his birthday, or maybe it was for Christmas. For years, he's loved this book. He's 9, and we read it again the other night. Needless to say, he still loves it. Of course, part of the awesome experience of reading this book is hearing his dad (me) use different voices for all the snakes. :) The colors of the book I'm sure are the obvious attention getters for the single-digit audience, but the message of the story that sneaks up on you long af...more
Verdi is a wonderful tale about aging and identity. Verdi the snake doesn't want to grow up and grow green. He enjoys romping about the forest. In a subtle way, the story gives insight into why elders may act the way they do, and reminds us that grown-ups were once young and have their own stories too.

Aside from the fact that I share the author's first name, I also love that she started out as a librarian, running children's summer reading programs. She's a talented author and illustrator. The...more
Jorie Turner
Dec 02, 2007 Jorie Turner rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: grades k-3
Shelves: fiction
Summary: Verdi is a young snake who is looking to stay youthful forever. He sees the old green snakes and wonders why they are so boring. Verdi decides that he never wants to be old and boring and spend his time trying to figure out how never to turn green. When he does inevitably grow older he laughs at the young snakes like he used to be and appreciates how he has now aged and become a wise green snake.
Response: I loved this book because it had such a great character. Verdi is like I was when...more
This beautifully illustrated book is just the thing for anyone you know who is finally settling down. Kids will enjoy the whimsical snake and will relate to the story on a basic level, but adults will find a little extra meaning.
This is one of my favorite Janell Cannon books. Verdi is scared of change, but once the change happens he realizes it isn't so bad and doesn't change who he really is.
R. C.
Perfect ratio of illustration to text and fantasy to reality for a four- or five-year-old animal nut with a message that will ring stronger for grown-ups than kids.
This is one of my all-time favorite children's books. Verdi is a small, yellow python who will do anything not to grow up into a boring, lazy, and rude "green" (adult). He ends up getting injured and learning that a slow and quiet life is not so bad after all, and that he's still the adventurous little python he ever was, if a bit more careful about his stunts.

I never wanted to grow up, and I definitely don't like the idea of becoming my grandmother. But this book always reminds me that no matte...more
Mary Helene
Read this book with Calvin, a visiting kid. It's an engaging story well integrated with fantastic drawings.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Armadillo Rodeo
  • The Salamander Room
  • The Three Questions
  • Grandfather Twilight
  • The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest
  • Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me
  • All the Places to Love
  • Two Bad Ants
  • Pierre the Penguin: A True Story
  • Frida
  • Babushka Baba Yaga
  • On the Day You Were Born
  • Morgan Morning
  • Memoirs of a Goldfish
  • Curious Critters
  • Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms
  • Johnny Appleseed: A Tall Tale
  • Math Curse
Stellaluna Pinduli Crickwing Trupp: A Fuzzhead Tale Little Yau: A Fuzzhead Tale

Share This Book