SNOOK ALONE by Marilyn Nelson, poet and story-teller

by Nancy Bo Flood on April 28, 2013

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If you haven’t explored Marilyn Nelson’s poetry and narratives, you are in for a literary feast.  Her new picture book reads soft and soothing – with surprises and delights with phrasing that is part poetry, part narrative.  SNOOK ALONE tells the story of a faithful little rat-terrier dog, Snook, who dutifully catches the mice and varmints for his best friend, Abba Jacob, a hermit of a monk who lives alone on a small island.  The book is illustrated in colors of sweeping sea breezes by Timothy Basil Ering.

 Tragedy happens.  A storm separates Snook from his one and only friend, and Snook is “all alone in the world of fierceness and wonder.”  With subtlety we follow Snook and observe the power of faith.  The book includes a beginning quote from Ingmar Bergman:  “Faith is…like loving someone who is out there in the darkness but never appears no matter how loudly you call.”   This book is very different from the powerful but darker poetry found in other books by Marilyn Nelson. The power in SNOOK is soft, bright and comforting.  A beautiful book, published by Candlewick, 2010.

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