Why the Snake Crawls on Its Belly

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9781930143203: Why the Snake Crawls on Its Belly
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A ladder stands in the Garden of Eden, reaching all the way to Heaven. Adam and Eve go up and down the ladder as they please, singing with the angels and talking to God. When the snake convinces them to sin, the ladder is broken. God and the angels decide the snakeÂ’s punishment, but so the snake does not give up hope, he is given the opportunity to periodically shed his skin and start over again. Eventually, the snake may understand his mistake and in the future will take his place next to man on the ladder to Heaven.

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From the Publisher:

Recipient of the 2001-2002 National Jewish Book Awards finalist in the category of Children's Picture Book. Answers the question: What happened to the snake’s legs? As well as the questions: Why does the snake have a forked tongue? Why doesn’t the snake have any eyelids? Why does the snake shed his skin? Eric Kimmel’s works have won him the Caldecott and his latest work was a Finalist selection in the National Jewish Book Awards. The story shows God’s justice and His mercy and reveals how the snake – and man – are given a chance to "change their skin" and repent their sins. This book has special relevance before the Jewish High Holidays and during the Sukkot holidays, in September and October, when the beginning of the Bible is read in synagogue.

About the Author:

Eric A. Kimmel resides in Portland, Oregon, although many of his books take place in places far away from his home and in eras long past. Having been brought up by his storytelling grandmother from the Ukraine, Eric believes he was destined to become a storyteller. The secret to his incredible success lies in his love of storytelling “I read my stories aloud over and over again,” he reveals, “trying to capture the music and rhythm of the words.” His frequent storytelling engagements all across America testify to the fact that his self-assessment is correct.

Eric has written over 50 childrenÂ’s tales -- some of the best-loved books in modern Jewish literature for children, including Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins which won a Caldecott Honor. He was a National Jewish Book Awards Finalist and his book GershonÂ’s Monster is the winner of the 2000 Sydney Taylor Award. While the author has written many books based on tales of the Far East and Russia, the titles with which he has won awards have invariably been titles of Jewish interest and reflect his affinity for his roots.

Of Why The Snake Crawls On Its Belly, Eric says, “The germ of this story is taken from an ancient Rabbinic source which will fascinate anyone who has read the account of Adam and Eve in the Bible and wondered: Why – of all the punishments possible – was the snake punished with the loss of his legs. This story is also one of hope for the characters in the biblical saga, and for all mankind.”

Eric and his wife Doris live with their dog, two cats, and a tank of tropical fish. They actually like snakes and hope that children wonÂ’t confuse the real animals, which do a lot of good, with the creatures of legend.

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Eric A. Kimmel, Allen Davis (Illustrator)
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