Naomi Nash: The Mystery of the Ball Python - Book Review

Naomi Nash: The Mystery of the Ball Python

Author: Jessica Anderson
Genre: Children - Animals Books
Publisher: Picture Window Books
Date Published: January 1, 2023
ISBN-10: 1666349496
ISBN-13: 978-1666349498

GoodReads Rating:

Book Review of :  Naomi Nash: The Mystery of the Ball Python


Author Jessica Lee Anderson has successfully written a children’s chapter book that is centered around a love or hate topic. "Snakes." The Mystery of the Ball Python is an ingenious children’s chapter book that tells a captivating story of a girl’s love for snakes. Exciting full-color illustrations by Alejandra Barajas enhance the fun book full of scientific facts.

Naomi, her older brother, Nolan, and her best friend, Emma, have an unusual interest in snakes and call themselves snake rescuers. The children’s mother is a veterinarian at the Austin Exotic Animal Hospital. She had brought snakes and other reptiles home to care for in a now-empty terrarium. Naomi wanted a pet snake, but not a poisonous one. She knows a lot about snakes and includes snake facts in a journal.

Their friend Taylor came to visit. She is afraid of snakes. The inclusion of a person scared of snakes allows the author to explain why some snakes are dangerous and poisonous, but some are not.

Emma’s mom heard a rumor that someone had found a Burmese python at a construction site. The children investigate and learn that Burmese pythons can grow longer than 20 feet. Naomi and Nolan’s dad drive them to the location. Naomi is armed with rubber gloves and a bucket. Her mother has taught her safety of snake handling, which she shares with readers. The snake turns out to be a small ball python, not a Burmese. They put it in the set-up terrarium with a place to hide.

Dr.Nash, Naomi’s mom, discovered the snake had mites, shedding skin, and ticks and was not healthy from being outside in unfamiliar territory. She constructed a snake sauna to moisten its skin and rubbed ointment into its scales. Readers will learn about the physical characteristics of snakes, their care, and the responsibilities of pet ownership.

The children place advertisements for the ball python, hoping that no one will claim it. The unexpected conclusion will leave the reader satisfied and wanting to read more science-related stories by this author. A glossary of terms enables the reader to delve deeper into the story and to understand snakes better.

Other fun, science-based books by Anderson and Barajas are Naomi Nash, the Drama Noodle,   Naomi Nash, Problems at the Pond, and Naomi Nash, Saving Snakes.

Reviewed by: Carole

About Jessica Anderson

Jessica Lee Anderson is an award-winning author of over fifty books for young people. She graduated from Hollins University with a master of arts degree in children's literature. She lives near Austin, Texas, with her husband, daughter, and toothless rat terrier. Learn more at


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