Review by Booklist Review
/*STARRED REVIEW*/ Gr. 3-5, younger for reading aloud. Even more than sharks, snakes hold a fearful fascination. However many books you have on the subject, it's hard to turn down one as informative and visually stunning as this one. Simon (a veteran science writer for children who has written on the wonders of space as well as biology) intensifies our interest with careful facts on everything from where various snakes live and how they reproduce to their role in keeping down rodents. Opposite each page of clear, spacious type is a close-up photo reproduced in gorgeous color. Simon's style is informal ("Young snakes are on their own. No snakes take care of their babies"). His tone is calm--the only exclamation point is on the jacket flap--he indulges in no melodrama; in fact, he's careful to point out that you're more likely to be hit by lightning than bitten by a snake. But the facts are mesmerizing. What does cold-blooded mean? How does a snake shed its skin? How does it move and coil? And that's before you get to how various species catch and digest their prey. There's a photo of a king snake swallowing a young rattlesnake. The cover shows a python, its muscular coils golden against a glossy black background, its strange, terrible head facing you. Display that cover in classroom or library, or use the double-spread photo of Florida king snakes hatching out of their great white eggs. What a story! REVWR Hazel Rochman0060225297Ilene Cooper
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-6-- Snakes are at their most beguiling in this beautifully photographed, well-organized introduction. The text succinctly describes their general physical and behavioral characteristics, and identifies the four major snake families. Fifteen species are depicted in the large, sharp, full-color photographs that appear on approximately every other page; most closeups are so finely detailed that individual scales are visible. Other titles cover similar information. Johnson's excellent Snakes (Lerner, 1986) offers more detail on anatomy, venom, and mating behavior. It also gives many scientific names, while Simon's title supplies only common ones. Arnold's Snake (Morrow, 1991), which features reptiles housed in the Los Angeles Zoo, is another good general introduction, discussing a greater number of species than this one. What distinguishes the Simon title, however, is its superb photography. Browsers will be attracted to the large portraits of the reptiles offered, particularly the photo of a king snake ingesting a rattlesnake and the shot of a yellow rat snake feeding on a rat. --Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Horn Book Review
Once again Simon demonstrates his skill in molding a lucid discussion and striking photographs into a compelling, informative overview. Many snake species are featured in the full-page pictures, each of which illustrates a particular point in the text. A fine presentation. From HORN BOOK 1992, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review
The dramatic cover photo of an orangey-gold boa snaking from a black background will insure that this doesn't sit long on the shelf. Inside, riveting full-page color photos on every spread and the clearly written (if rather difficult) text on life cycle, anatomy, reproduction, classification, movement, diet, and poisonous snakes will also draw an appreciative audience. Another winner from the prolific, reliable Simon. (Nonfiction. 10-12)
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.