Gr 3-6-This clearly written, logically organized title highlights the amazing attributes of snakes. After presenting a short survey of the reptiles in world mythology, the text briefly describes the physical and behavioral characteristics common to all snakes and special characteristics of some major groups and about two dozen representatives. The last section offers guidelines for pet care and suggests the most suitable types to buy, outlines their fundamental needs, and briefly describes the right kind of cage and its basic furnishings. Sharp, full-color photographs depict the animals discussed. Sidebars with related information are scattered throughout. One, entitled "What a Faker," describes the hognose snake's defense of feigned death. However, there are a number of excellent introductions that provide more detail, including Seymour Simon's Snakes (HarperCollins, 1992) and Sandra Markle's Outside and Inside Snakes (Atheneum, 1995), both of which boast remarkable photography. Bill Gutman's Becoming Best Friends with Your Iguana, Snake, or Turtle (Millbrook, 2001) offers more practical advice on caring for reptiles and has a section focusing solely on snakes. Schafer's lucid and colorful overview will be a useful addition to most collections.-Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.