As a youthful snake, Verdi loves his bright yellow skin with its cool brown zig-zags, and particularly loves his agility. He views adult “green” as a sure sign of a senile disinterest in life and resolves to never adopt the sloth of the older snakes.
Imagine his horror on seeing a green tint appearing in his skin. “KACK!‘ he gasped. ‘How can this be? I am the speediest snake in the jungle and I’m still turning green.”
Verdi finds he can still be inventive and different even as one gets older. The appearance of age is not a certain sign of senile sloth. His adventures are both amusing and intriguing. The marvelous, verdant illustrations portray, in a snakey way, his every mood. Then the day comes when he overhears two younger snakes. “Get a load of that old green guy,’ one of them whispered, ‘Do you think he ever moves?” Verdi knows just what to do.
Verdi is a “Green Tree Python” of the species Morelia viridis, found in the jungles of Australia and several Indonesian islands. The French and Latin root of “Verdi” is viridis, which means ‘green’. Perhaps, more romantically, we can note that Guiseppe Verdi, the Italian composer (La Traviata, A´da, Otello), is credited with raising Italian opera to its fullest artistic form. Verdi sought a similar standard for Green Tree Pythons. Whatever standard your child might pursue as a Human, Janell Cannon’s Verdi sets a fine attitude for pursuing better. Parents might note that Verdi’s actions are whimsical in nature, but this does not detract from the theme of this work, which is about actively loving life.
In fact there is a type of snake that does glide through the air. It is an Indonesian Paradise Tree Snake. They do not use Verdi’s slingshot approach, but do a swinging leap off the ends of branches. The launched snake flattens its body and can attain quite a long glide path, even changing course and increasing lift whilst in flight. When landing on hard tree limbs it softens its impact using countering motions of parts that do not initially hit the wood. The following video is quite informative, but has no sound: