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Children's Fiction General

This Is a Tiny Fragile Snake

by (author) Nicholas Ruddock

illustrated by Ashley Barron

Groundwood Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Feb 2024
General, Poetry (see also Stories in Verse), Emotions & Feelings
Recommended Age
3 to 6
Recommended Grade
p to 1
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Feb 2024
    List Price
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2024
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Fifteen poems explore close encounters with animals … and choosing to respond tenderly.

Whether it’s helping a hummingbird escape, respecting a bear’s habitat, admiring a heron’s beauty, or giving way to ants at a picnic, the human response in these poems is to do no harm, and to help whenever possible. The poems follow a seasonal progression, ending with a final poem that imagines where each animal might be on a winter night.

Inspired by personal experiences, Nicholas Ruddock’s poems are simply written, with a pleasing rhyme, and fun to read aloud. In the spirit of the text, Ashley Barron’s cut-paper collage illustrations portray each creature with respectful realism, in environments ranging from rural and wild to urban and suburban.

A delightful dip into poetry for young animal lovers!


Key Text Features




Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:


Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.


With prompting and support, name the author and illustrator of a story and define the role of each in telling the story.


Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.

About the authors

Nicholas Ruddock is a Canadian physician and writer. He has won numerous international prizes and was shortlisted for the Moth International Poetry Award (Ireland) in 2020.

His first novel, The Parabolist (2010), was shortlisted for the Toronto Book Award and the Arthur Ellis Award. His second novel, Night Ambulance (2016), was a Next Generation Indie Book Awards finalist.

Nicholas has been published in numerous international publications in Canada, England, Northern Ireland, and Ireland. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.


Nicholas Ruddock's profile page

ASHLEY BARRON’s vibrant cut-paper collage illustrations appear in more than twelve picture books, including Chaiwala! by Priti Maheshwari, My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf (winner of the Schneider Family Book Award), City Baby by Laurie Elmquist (a Bank Street Best Book of the Year) and Pretty Tricky by Etta Kaner (a Kirkus Best Picture Book and an Outstanding Science Trade Book). Ashley lives with her partner and three cats in Toronto, Ontario.

Ashley Barron's profile page

Other titles by Ashley Barron