"When Verdi the python's mother turns him out into the world, urging him to grow big and green, he can't think of a worse fate in this story about the trials and tribulations of growing up. The story loses something without Cannon's vibrant illustrations, but narrator Kevin Free makes up for some of this loss with fluid vocalizations that suggest expression and movement. Verdi speeds and springs and eventually slows down and learns to see the world in a new way. An afterword provides information about snakes and pythons, making this educational, as well as entertaining. A.F. (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine"