Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 4-8 From the menacing pit viper on the cover to the various scorpions, ants, bees, wasps, cone shells, sea jellies, snakes, spiders, and other poisonous critters that skitter and slither across the pages, this volume looks at the world of venom. Different biotoxins and their effects on other life-forms (including humans) are discussed in the conversational text, which is broken into segments clustered under sectional names (e.g., "This Cane is a Pain"-cane toads-appears in "Poisoners in the Pond"). Information boxes advise readers on such varied topics as treating sea-jelly stings (called "jellyfish" here) and toxic birds. Sharp, full-color photos loaded with icky details are sure to catch readers' eyes and hold their interest. A detailed index will help researchers pull scattered data together, and the extensive glossary will enrich the vocabulary of report writers. Singer also presents a bibliography of works consulted and a humongous "Webliography" that will have Internet-savvy kids glued to their monitors. Not as well organized as Nathan Aaseng's Poisonous Creatures (21st Century Bks., 1997), but richer than Hans D. Dossenbach's colorful Beware! We Are Poisonous: How Animals Defend Themselves (Gale, 1998), this book will attract the curious of mind and enrich information seekers.-Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

Kirkus Reviews
This substantial introduction to toxic creatures of all kinds, both poisonous (to eat) and venomous (injecting their poison), is chock full of fascinating facts. Organizing the text by habitat, Singer moves from home and garden through desert, woods and jungle, to the sea shores, coral reefs and ocean depths. She discusses some species in several different chapters: Snakes appear in the grass, the desert, the pond, the jungle and the sea. The organization occasionally breaks down. In "Home is where the venom is," the reader learns that black lemurs in Madagascar use millipede poison to repel insects. The busy design is clearly aimed at middle graders who may not recognize the bits of song and poetry behind the catchy chapter titles, but will appreciate the light tone. Sidebars provide extra information and puzzles for the reader. Despite repeated assurances that such animals are of more value than threat to humans, the overall effect is pretty scary. A two page webliography lists an intriguing variety of mostly academic and governmental sites for further exploration of this always interesting subject. (acknowledgments, bibliography, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Lerner Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
9.60(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.70(d)
NC1110L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 13 Years

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