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Children's LiteratureIn thirty-one pages, this attractive addition to Raintree's "Predators" series offers a comprehensive introduction to the cobra. It covers anatomy, habitat, movement, hunting, and self-defense, and urges readers to support habitat preservation. The author fully describes the cobra's remarkable sensory organs, reflecting current research into taste, smell, and auditory abilities. A fascinating section on positive cobra images in Indian and African myth and religion reminds readers of the snake's importance in human culture. The book ends with a glossary, an index, and a list of Web sites to investigate for more information. Excellent and plentiful photographs accompany the text. The compelling cover photograph, showing a cobra spitting venom, invites children to open the book to discover more. One use of the stereotypic term "killing machine" as a section header briefly undercuts the author's overall tone of admiration for cobra intelligence and capabilities. This is an excellent choice for library or classroom. 2003, Raintree/Steck-Vaughn, Ages 9 to 14.
— Ann Philips