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Sneed B. Collard III's Most Fun Book Ever About Lizards

Overview

Lizards are cool. Literally. They are ectotherms, which means they can’t make their own heat. That’s why you see many types of lizards basking in the sun, seemingly doing nothing at all. That’s the life. But make no mistake, lizards have very busy lives—looking for food and avoiding being food. Popular science writer Sneed B. Collard III gets down and dirty with all kinds of lizards—from your average "Joe Lizard," the western fence lizard, to the impressively large Komodo dragon. In a kid-friendly narrative, ...

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Overview

Lizards are cool. Literally. They are ectotherms, which means they can’t make their own heat. That’s why you see many types of lizards basking in the sun, seemingly doing nothing at all. That’s the life. But make no mistake, lizards have very busy lives—looking for food and avoiding being food. Popular science writer Sneed B. Collard III gets down and dirty with all kinds of lizards—from your average "Joe Lizard," the western fence lizard, to the impressively large Komodo dragon. In a kid-friendly narrative, Sneed explores many different kinds of lizards, their habitats, defense systems, hunting techniques, and mating rituals. He reveals the exciting life of a lizard—from rappelling from the tops of trees to the forest floor, to dropping off a tail to get away from a predator.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Which are the most common reptiles on earth? Lizards! Kids may be surprised to learn that there are over five thousand species of these intriguing saurians; Collard demonstrates his enthusiasm in reader-friendly text and his own striking color photographs. (Several from remote areas like the Galapagos Islands have been contributed by others.) Lizards, he explains, have scaly skin; a versatile tail; territories for mating and hunting whatever they can swallow; and are mostly heat-seekers to keep themselves mobile. Aspiring herpetologists will meet some spectacular species like the huge ten foot, 300 lb. Komodo dragon that can actually eat people—fortunately for us they are confined to six islands of Indonesia. Other lizard stars include the orange and black Gila monster of our Southwest, and the long-tongued panther chameleon, who resembles a brightly beaded and jeweled artifact. Using many strategies to catch insect prey, some land lizards eat cacti as well (shown in a close-up of a spiky iguana crunching on tough spines), while marine lizards dive for algae. Most are well camouflaged, demonstrated by Sneed's photo of a large basilisk, almost invisible among forest leaves. Since heat is necessary to "thermal regulators," kids discover that no large lizards live in cold climates, while many of the smaller ones prefer deserts or tropical habitats. Sneed describes with gusto rare saurians that can fly, swim, and walk on water (basilisks), even some that have no legs and live underground, like the eastern glass lizard. As with most wildlife today, lizards suffer from hunting by humans, loss of habitat, and capture as exotic pets; the author is especially vehement about not keeping them for pets. Full of detailed information, fascinating photographs, and Montana-native Sneed's particular brand of puckish humor, this appealing book will make a popular addition to any reptile collection. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
Kirkus Reviews
This lively, information-packed introduction to the world of lizards describes their surprising variety and life in the wild and offers cautions from a long-time reptile fan for those who want to keep lizards as pets. Collard, who introduced middle-grade readers to Mesozoic reptiles with Reign of the Sea Dragons (2008), turns his attention here to modern-day lizards. After presenting an exemplar, "Joe Lizard," a western fence lizard, he goes on to describe other well-known species, including Komodo dragons, Gila monsters, chameleons and iguanas, as well as some with unusual talents, including "religious lizards" that can walk on water. He covers eating and being eaten, the ways saurians keep warm and reproduce, and threats to their survival. His information is solid and clearly organized but conveyed in a relatively lengthy, chatty narrative whose occasional exaggerations may surprise some readers, who will need his warning, "Just kidding." Sentences trail off into ellipses, encouraging readers to keep turning the pages. Most of the appealing and well-reproduced photographs were taken by the author. Close-ups show lizard characteristics (the break line for a new tail, a monitor's forked tongue); longer shots show them in their natural habitat. Captions and sidebars add further information. For readers intrigued by Nic Bishop Lizards (2010), this may lead to true lizard-love. (suggested resources, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580893251
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/1/2012
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 840,902
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 1020L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sneed B. Collard III has been a biologist and a computer scientist. He's put his knowledge and experience to use by writing more than thirty children's books, including MANY BIOMES, ONE EARTH, BEAKS, and TEETH. He began writing after graduating with honors in marine biology from the University of California at Berkeley. After earning his master’s in scientific instrumentation at the University of California at Santa Barbara, he continued to hone his craft while serving as a computer consultant for biologists. He lives in Missoula, Montana.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Good information

    My grandson really enjoyed this book

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