Why Do Snakes Hiss?: And Other Questions About Snakes, Lizards, and Turtles

Overview


Many people like snakes, lizards, and turtles, and there?s so much to find out about all of these scaly-skinned animals. Are all snakes poisonous? Why do snakes shed their skin? What unusual things can lizards do? Do lizards ever lose their tails? Why do turtles have shells? Kids will find the answers?and much more?in this fun, fact-filled introduction to reptiles. Filled with colorful photographs and illustrations, this is just right for any reptile lover.
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Overview


Many people like snakes, lizards, and turtles, and there?s so much to find out about all of these scaly-skinned animals. Are all snakes poisonous? Why do snakes shed their skin? What unusual things can lizards do? Do lizards ever lose their tails? Why do turtles have shells? Kids will find the answers?and much more?in this fun, fact-filled introduction to reptiles. Filled with colorful photographs and illustrations, this is just right for any reptile lover.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Holub answers commonly-asked questions about snakes as well as lizards and turtles. They range from simple questions about size and variety to more complex ones such as whether snakes are poisonous, what and how they eat and how they move, see and hear. The same format is followed when discussing lizards and turtles. The concluding pages discuss extinction and whether or not a reptile makes a good pet. There are excellent photographs of these reptiles and the kids who obviously care for and enjoy their pets along with occasional drawings. While reptiles are not the pet of choice for many adults, kids are generally more open-minded and the information presented can dispel fears and may help kids consider a reptile as a pet. As to the question posed by the title—snakes hiss to scare enemies. This series by Holub is similar to the "I Wonder Why" books from Kingfisher. A Dial "Easy-To-Read" Level 3 book which features harder words and a longer text for kids who are reading on their own. 2004, Dial/Penguin, Ages 6 to 8.
—Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Holub starts each of these series entries with a broad view of the featured animals and answers questions such as "How many different kinds of birds are there?" and "How do snakes move?" After addressing general questions, the author poses some inquiries for potential pet owners. "Are pet birds easy to take care of?" and "What should I know before getting a pet reptile?" Both books have interesting color photographs and illustrations; bright, colorful headings for the questions; and parenthetical pronunciation guides. The writing style is lively and informative. Like Julia Barnes's 101 Facts about Terrarium Pets (Gareth Stevens, 2002) and Angela Wilkes's Birds (Kingfisher, 2002), these attractive easy-readers are sure to be in constant circulation.-Heather Ver Voort, Washington West Elementary, Olean, NY Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Younger readers with an affinity for all creatures green and scaly will linger over both the sharply detailed photos and the easy but specific text in this three-part Q&A. Holub poses and answers about a half-dozen similar questions for each type of reptile-how many kinds are there? What are the biggest and smallest ones? How well can they see, hear, and smell?-then closes with some basic provisos for prospective pet owners. With DiVito's small watercolors filling in some gaps, the illustrations include well-lit shots of animals eating, posing, and enduring handling by confident-looking children, both in natural settings and with backgrounds removed. Some recommendations for further reading or Web viewing wouldn't have been amiss, but the steady course steered here between the empty hype and numbing barrages of undigested fact offered by similar titles earns it above average marks. (Easy reader/nonfiction. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142401057
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
  • Publication date: 11/14/2013
  • Series: Penguin Young Readers Level 3 Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 337,001
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.01 (h) x 0.14 (d)

Meet the Author


The reason I'm a children's book author/illustrator today is that I have a lot of determination. I practiced drawing and revised my stories over and over because I wanted nothing more than to do what I'm doing now--writing and illustrating children's books.

I always knew I'd become an artist and studied art in college in Texas. After graduating from college, I became an Art Director at a graphic design firm. I moved from Texas to New York to work in children's publishing. I got a job as Associate Art Director in children's books at Scholastic, where I designed books and enjoyed working with editors and illustrators. This was excellent experience.

I illustrated my first children's book in 1992 and soon began illustrating full time. I had always written stories, but I began completing manuscripts and mailing them out to publishers in the early 1990's. In 1996, I sold my first two manuscripts -- Boo Who? (Scholastic) and Pen Pals (Grosset & Dunlap) -- both published in 1997.

Now I write and illustrate full time. It is a great job. When I think of a idea, I write it down so that whenever I finish one story I'll have a bunch of ideas waiting that I can begin working on next. I especially love reading and writing funny stories, weird stories, and animal stories.

Books I've written and illustrated include:

Cinderdog and the Wicked Stepcat Albert Whitman, 2001 (ages 4-8, picture book)
Abby Cadabra, Super Speller, Grosset & Dunlap, 2000 (ages 6-8, easy reader)
How to Find Lost Treasure in All Fifty States and Canada, Too Aladdin, 2000 (ages 8-12, NF)
The Haunted States of America Aladdin, 2001 (ages 8-12, NF)
Vincent Van Gogh: Sunflowers and Swirly Stars, 2001 Grosset & Dunlap (ages 6-9, NF)
Happy Monster Day! Scholastic,1999
Pen Pals Grosset & Dunlap, 1997 (ages 6-8, easy reader)
Ivy Green, Cootie Queen Troll, 1998 (ages 7-9)
Red, Yellow, Green What Do Signs Mean? Scholastic, 1998 (ages 4-8)
Boo Who? A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book Scholastic, 1997 (ages 1-6)
Eek-A-Boo! A Spooky Lift-the-Flap Book Scholastic, 2000 (ages 1-6)

Books I've written include:

I Have A Weird Brother Who Digested A Fly, Albert Whitman, 1999 (picture book)
Light the Candles, A Hanukkah Lift the Flap Book, Puffin, 2000
The Garden That We Grew Viking/Puffin, 2001(ages 4-7, easy reader)
The Pizza That We Made Viking/Puffin, 2001(ages 4-7, easy reader)
Scat Cats! Viking/Puffin, 2001(ages 4-7, easy reader)
Backwards Day, Scholastic, 2000
Why Do Dogs Bark? Puffin, 2001(ages 6-8, easy reader)
Why Do Cats Meow? Puffin, 2001(ages 6-8, easy reader)
The Spooky Sleepover, Grosset & Dunlap, 1999 (ages 6-8, easy reader)
Pajama Party Grosset & Dunlap, 1998 (ages 4-7, easy reader)
Space Dogs on Planet K-9 Troll, 1998 (ages 7-10)

Books I've illustrated include:

Breakout at the Bug Lab Dial, 2001(ages 6-8, easy reader)
Hector's Hiccups Random House, 1999
Shadows Everywhere Scholastic, 1999
Hot Cha-Cha! Winslow Press
No Fair! Scholastic, Hello Math
The 100th Day of School Scholastic
Ten Little Ballerinas Grosset & Dunlap
I Love You Mom Troll
I Love You Dad Troll
My First Book of Sign Language Troll

Answers to questions people sometimes ask me:

1. Where do you get your ideas?

I get ideas many different ways. Sometimes, ideas just pop into my head. I also listen to and watch the people around me for ideas. I read to get ideas. I daydream to get ideas. When I get an idea, I write it down in an idea notebook, so I won't forget it. I think ideas are the easy part of writing. I get lots of ideas for books all the time. Developing them into a book with a beginning, middle and end is the difficult, time-consuming part. The idea is important, but an idea isn't a book until it has been developed into a story that works as a whole from start to finish.

2. When and why did you decide to become an author and artist?

I've been writing and reading stories all of my life. I didn't concentrate on writing children's books until around 1990. In 1991, I began regularly submitting manuscripts to publishers.I began writing because I had story ideas that I thought would make good books. I've always known I would become an artist--ever since kindergarten.

3. Why don't you illustrate all of the books you write?

I haven't had time to illustrate all of the books I write, but I've usually been very happy with the work of the illustrators who have illustrated my books. I wasn't happy with the art in a couple of books, but I don't think it's fair to try and control the artist, so I keep out of the artist's way as much as possible. I continue to illustrate books by other authors as well. I have just as much fun illustrating a book written by someone else as I do illustrating books I write. As long as the story is good, illustrating it is fun.

4. Did you like school when you were a kid?

Most of the time. I got bored during the summer, so I was glad when school started. I loved getting a new lunchbox and choosing what I would wear the first day. But then after about 2 weeks of school, I wished for summer again. I like to read and I made good grades, so school was mostly fun for me.

5. How do you develop your characters and plot?

I've usually already decided on a main charater and 1/4 to 3/4 of a plot before I start writing a story. I just write and work out the rest of the characters and plot as I go along. I have a college art degree, but have no formal training as a writer. I learn the rhythm and structure of stories by reading books and thinking about how they are structured. I also read instructional books about how to write.

6. What is your favorite part about writing? Why?

Getting an idea; finishing a book manuscript; getting an offer from a publisher; and seeing my book in a store are all big thrills. The process of writing is not always fun. But I'm driven to write, and time flies when I'm writing.

7. How hard has it been to get your works published?

It was hard to sell the first manuscript. Then in 1996, I suddenly sold three manuscripts in three months to Grosset & Dunlap and Scholastic.

8. What are your favorite books besides the one(s) you have written?

Spaceship Under the Apple Tree; Martha Speaks; The Giving Tree; A Friend for Dragon; Chrysanthemum; Ruby the Copycat; Marvin Redpost--Is He A Girl?

9. What do you look for in a good book?

Something I think is funny or a feeling I can strongly identify with. A good idea and a memorable plot and characters.

10. Do you have kids or pets? Hobbies?

No kids, but we do have a great cat, who thinks he's our child. For hobbies, I like to hike, bikeride, and read.

Anna Divito lives in Unionville, New York.

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