Children's Literature - Phyllis KennemerThe first six-page section compares two lizards, the Komodo dragon and the dwarf gecko. Full-color photographs with informative captions give a sense of the size differential and show the creatures in their natural habitats. A map shows their locations. Komodo dragons live in Indonesia. They can be as long as ten feet. Tiny dwarf geckos, weighing less than half an ounce, live in Haiti. Inset boxes provide Fast Facts, such as "Komodo dragons are good tree climbers. They are good swimmers, too." The next sections follow the same format. The Goliath frog is contrasted with two small frogs, the gold frog found in Brazil and the leaf-litter frog from Cuba. The Goliath frog, found in a small part of West Africa, is about twelve inches long. It is eaten by the local people and captured for animal collections. The last section compares the anaconda snake with the Lesser Antillean threadsnake. The large anaconda, weighing more than five hundred pounds, lives in the Amazon and squeezes its prey to death. The tiny threadsnake, living in Barbados, is about four inches long and as thin as a pencil lead. The book begins with a table of contents and a short glossary. It closes with a page about the largest dinosaurs, a bibliography, a list of Internet addresses, and an index. An appropriate introductory information book for young children. Part of the "Biggest vs. Smallest Animals" series. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
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