CM . . .
. Volume XI Number 19 . . . . May 27, 2005
With more than 2500 species, snakes make up about one-third of the reptile group. Snakes, part of the “Kids Can Press Wildlife Series,” is comprised of 14 chapters (each consisting of a double-page spread), a table of contents, a brief glossary and an index. Topics include habitat, winter survival, the snake’s anatomy and senses, hunting methods and food, and how snakes move. Readers will also learn about snake babies and how they grow, and they will learn about the various defenses that snakes use to protect themselves from their enemies. There is a diagram showing a few of the types of snakes found on each of the continents (with the exception of Antarctica where no snakes can survive because of the extreme cold) and a chapter on the ways that snakes, much feared and misunderstood by humans, actually help people by eating insect and rodent pests and by providing venom which is used in the manufacture of medicines. Small fact boxes give additional information.
The text is simple and easy to read while the very realistic watercolour illustrations show a variety of snakes and match the text. Whenever possible, the author uses simple comparisons with which kids are familiar (e.g. she mentions that some snakes can stretch longer than the length of a playground slide) or offers explanations that relate to readers’ prior knowledge.
At present there are 12 books in the series, with more to come. Suitable for young researchers, this series is bound to be popular.
Gail Hamilton is a teacher-librarian at Bird’s Hill School in East St. Paul, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.