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Best Book of Snakes

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Realistic illustrations capture each individual species, while evocative text and dramatic artwork recreate the life, habitats, and behavior of these fascinating reptiles—from harmless grass snakes to the deadly taipan of Australia. This handy paperback is just the thing for young herpetologists on the go.

Introduces snakes of the world, including the cobra, anaconda, and various constrictors and sea snakes.

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Overview

Realistic illustrations capture each individual species, while evocative text and dramatic artwork recreate the life, habitats, and behavior of these fascinating reptiles—from harmless grass snakes to the deadly taipan of Australia. This handy paperback is just the thing for young herpetologists on the go.

Introduces snakes of the world, including the cobra, anaconda, and various constrictors and sea snakes.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
This addition to "Kingfisher's Natural History" series offers an overview of the world of snakes. Early sections describe snakes' bodies and coloration, how they move, give birth, and kill prey. Following sections cover three poisonous snakes-the king cobra, the cottonmouth, and the black mamba, as well as the less familiar sea kraits and rainforest gliding snakes. The final pages list environmental and human threats to all snake populations. The book ends with a glossary and index. Short informative paragraphs and copious illustrations break up the text. Although the author encourages readers to respect rather than to fear snakes, the dramatic eye-to-fang drawings emphasize the intimidating venomous snakes rather than our harmless backyard neighbors. This is a generally useful introduction to snakes and appropriate for libraries. However, smell and other sensory abilities should be covered in the hunting section and included in the index. "No ears and no hearing" inadequately characterizes the snake's sensitivity to vibration. 2003, Kingfisher/Houghton Mifflin, Ages 8 to 12.
— Ann Philips
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-Some of the world's most dangerous serpents are featured in this profusely illustrated overview. Vivid, realistic paintings appear on every page. Some are fairly small, set against a plain white background and juxtaposed with the paragraphs of text (one section offers a pictorial survey of 16 species). Others are full page or on spreads showing the reptiles in their natural habitats, usually attacking prey. While most of the loosely organized text is clearly written, it suffers, to some extent, from oversimplification (e.g., the suggestion that all venom is deadly). More problematic is the dichotomy between the book's professed objective view and its sensationalism. While it states that most snakes are harmless and makes a plea for conservation, the volume includes mostly venomous species, emphasizes the danger snakes pose to humans, and contains numerous dramatic illustrations of the reptiles in attack mode. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's colorful Slinky, Scaly, Slithery Snakes (Walker, 2000), aimed at about the same age level, is a better choice. It covers most of the same topics, is more tightly organized, and has a consistently lucid text and a more scientifically objective point of view.-Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780753459379
  • Publisher: Kingfisher
  • Publication date: 4/19/2006
  • Series: Best Book of Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.23 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Christiane Gunzi is the author of several natural history books for children. Her works for Kingfisher include The Best Book of Big Cats, The Best Book of Snakes, The Best Book of Endangered and Extinct Animals, and The Best Book of Whales and Dolphins.

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