Verdi is a stunningly illustrated book, and despite its main character, Verdi, being a snake, the colors and illustrations are cool, calming, soothing, and fun. Cannon appropriately adds expression to the snakes’ faces, but it’s not cheesy or cartoon-ish, as the depictions are vibrant and realistic. Illustrations were done in a representational style, with the artist using painterly media. The message is a good one – stay true to yourself, even as you grow older – and the path to the message is entertaining. I loved this story, but was surprised by the vocabulary, which seemed a little advanced for the lower end of the suggested age range; however, my five-year-old cousin, Waverly, whipped right through words like “interrupt,” “fidgeting,” and “frightened.” Maybe it’s been too long since I’ve been around little ones, or maybe she’s just an exceptional child. (I am not biased.) Her favorite part was when the young python tries to exfoliate the green off his skin! After the conclusion of the story, there are two pages of “Snake Notes,” to teach a little more about pythons. Waverly was not even remotely interested in these pages, though she enjoyed the book. I recorded her, and it's precious and I wish I could share it, but the full video is 2 minutes, and my software is incompatible with my video and won't allow me to crop it down.