Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Review - Discovery Snakeopedia

Discovery Snakeopedia: The Complete Guide to Everything Snakes-Plus Lizards and More Reptiles

By: Discovery Channel
Publisher: Time Home Entertainment
Publication Date: July 2014
ISBN: 978-1603209908
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: July 2014

Ever dream of becoming a herpetologist? Maybe you don’t even know what that is, but if not you probably know if you are into spiders ‘n snakes. Maybe lizards, turtles, tortoises, crocs, and gators have that wow factor for you too. If they don’t, just walk way away from this book fast because there are loads of them in this book! Pssssss ... this book is for snake lovers who want to know more about their favs. Everyone has heard of rattlers, but did you know that “some fiddlers and banjo players put [their] rattles inside their instruments?” No! Yes, and that’s just one interesting fact you’ll discover about snakes inside this book. Some of the facts are just eeew, but some are mega-cool.

There is a bit of science behind snakes and a few unfamiliar words that will pop right out at you. You’ll quickly learn that the snake is from a class of animals we call Reptilia. Next you’ll slither over into a section about their taxonomy, a “way of organizing our natural world.” If you don’t know about their kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and their species, you will after you study a bit about them. Perhaps you just want to look at snakes, but that’s not a problem. There are a ton of them to look at. You’ll be able to pore over blind snakes, shield-tailed snakes, pipe snakes, sunbeam snakes, pythons (oh, yeah!), boas, wood snakes, file snakes, and more!

Venom is so not cool if you get a snake bite, but awesome to learn about. There are even different varieties. They are called neurotoxins, cytotoxins, cardiotoxins, and hemotoxins. Did you know that “the same snake venom that can kill people can also save them?” It can. You’ll learn about the anatomy from head to the end of that tail in snakes, not just those fangs. Some snakes even have the remnants of legs, but if you want to know more about that, you’ll just have to read this book. Crocs are cool too, but you probably won’t see one until you head to Africa, but you might see a gator. One thing for sure is that you’ll see lots of critters in this book!

This is one eye-popping book that will keep any young snake lover turning the pages. It’s an encyclopedic book that is loaded with facts and photos that will not only amaze, but also educate. The layout of the book is alive with Reptilia slithering, sliding, and staring at us from the pages. The book is peppered with numerous informative sidebars that add a lot to the book. For example, there’s one on mamba legends that debunk some and lend a bit of credence to a couple of others. There are “Did you Know?,” “Word!,” “Star” sidebars, and “Fang Fact” sections that are short, sweet, and add to the experience. In the back of the book are activities, a section on how children can help reptiles, reptile resources, and additional recommended book resources to explore.

Quill says: This is one fangtastic book that young snake lovers everywhere will go wild over!

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