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Poison Dart Frogs

Poison Dart Frogs

by Jennifer Owings Dewey

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In richly colored pencil drawings, Jennifer Owings Dewey, who has had a lifetime fascination with frogs, shows different kinds of poison dart frogs in their rain forest environment. Consulting with rain forest experts, she has gathered the most uptodate information about these amazing frogs in this intriguing book for readers of all ages.


In richly colored pencil drawings, Jennifer Owings Dewey, who has had a lifetime fascination with frogs, shows different kinds of poison dart frogs in their rain forest environment. Consulting with rain forest experts, she has gathered the most uptodate information about these amazing frogs in this intriguing book for readers of all ages.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Janet Morgan Stoeke
Poison dart frogs are such interesting and beautiful little creatures, I am glad that someone has made a book to tell children about them. This one does a good job of telling all about their habits, life cycle and uses to humans. Unfortunately, the colored pencil drawings are rough and undeveloped, like sketches one would create in anticipation of painting the lush, wet scenes depicted. (I can't imagine why they would choose such a dry medium!) Still, a nice look at a fascinating subject.
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4The diversity of life in rain-forest environments is clearly evident in this introduction to the beautiful but often deadly poison dart frogs. Several of the more than 100 known varieties of these tiny creatures are described with interesting facts relating the ways frogs release poison when frightened and how their bright coloration discourages predators. Unusual ways of insuring survival of the young are revealed as parent frogs carry newly hatched tadpoles to cups of water contained within bromeliads where they will remain until maturity. A section on methods used by local hunters to capture these frogs and extract poison to use in blowpipes is included. Each illustrated frog is labeled with both common and scientific names, some of which are hard to read as they are placed against background settings. The artwork itself, while expertly drawn in colored pencil, has a hazy softness that is in contrast to the bold hues found in rain forest habitats. In addition, the medium fails to capture the moist and slippery qualities of the poison dart frog's skin that are described in the text. Nevertheless, this is an informative look at these unique animals. It could motivate readers to seek out other sources and expand the study of life cycles of frogs.Diane Nunn, Richard E. Byrd Elementary School, Glen Rock, NJ
These tiny colorful creatures of the rain forest are a striking contrast to their green and brown North American cousins. Dewey's charac-teristically fine color-pencil drawings feature many different species, demonstrating the variety of colors and markings that serve these vibrant frogs in their lush habitat. While some of the frogs are drawn larger than life, Dewey makes an interesting demonstration of actual size with several species posed above a ruler. Her simple, clear text begins with physical characteristics, including the frogs' protective colors and poisonous secretions. She goes on to a topic sure to intrigue (non-squeamish) readers, explaining in detail the traditional methods still used by hunters to extract the poison from the frogs for use in blowpipe darts. The life-cycle discussion explains unusual behaviors of the little frogs in their care of eggs and nurturing of their young. The informative and beautiful presentation closes somewhat abruptly with a general message on the importance of the rain forest environment to the survival of the creatures living there. A brief acknowledgment to Baltimore's National Aquarium on the verso is the only clue to sources used, and there's no bibliography. Many readers will be attracted by the handsome book, however, and it nicely expands on information in other children's materials on rain forests and frogs.
Kirkus Reviews
Dewey (Rattlesnake Dance, 1997, etc.) introduces a uniquely fascinating rain forest creature: leggy, button-eyed, innocuously tiny, rainbow-hued creatures that are deadly to eat, to taste, and sometimes even to touch. Their very names are evocative, from the phantasmal poison dart frog, the splendid poison dart frog, and the bright yellow terrible (or golden) poison dart frog, to the demonic poison dart frog. Of the more than 100 varieties, Dewey depicts about 20 in precisely detailed colored-pencil scenes, taking the diminutive amphibians through their life and reproductive cycles, and showing also how traditional human hunters (she properly notes that many now use guns) use them to poison blowgun darts. Both casual browsers and budding naturalists will find this primer irresistible. (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-9)

Product Details

Seymour Science
Publication date:
Sold by:
Seymour Science
File size:
21 MB
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Age Range:
5 - 9 Years

Meet the Author

Jennifer Owings Dewey is a writer and illustrator of many critically acclaimed natural history books for children and adults, including the award winning Clem, the Story of a Raven, Spiders near and Far, Antarctic Journal, Four Months at the Bottom of the World, Paisano the Roadrunner, and Minik's Story, a novel for middle grade readers about a young Inuit girl living in the 19th Century and encountering white people for the first time. Her audience for most of her work in nonfiction is the child reader between the ages of seven and ten.
Jennifer has written three autobiographical novels set in New Mexico, where she
was raised. These novels are considered suitable for young adult readers.
Jennifer's titles reflect her interest in science and the natural world. While she is not a trained scientist she has personally researched all of her titles to ensure accuracy.
Among the honors Jennifer has received is the National Science Teachers Association award for an outstanding body of work in the field of nonfiction for children. For Rattlesnake Dance she received the Spur award. For Wildlife Rescue, the story of a veterinarian known for her extraordinary work with injured wildlife, she received the Orbis Pictus Award given by the National Association of English Teachers.
While awards are wonderful and rewarding to receive, Jennifer expresses that much of the pleasure she experiences as a writer and illustrator comes from doing the research and turning this effort into words and images on paper.
At present she is working on a true story of being lost on a desert in southern New Mexico, the Jornada del Muerto, or Journey of Death. This story will be suitable for both children and adults.

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