A fun series looking at the gruesomely fascinating world of natural history. The big illustrations allow the reader to view even the tiniest subject in big, horrifying detail! Cutaway illustrations and easy-to-follow diagrams complement a lively text. This volume is on all the slimy slithery creatures on earth. Ages 8-10.
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Grade 3-5-Reptiles, amphibians, and creatures that leave a slimy trail in the night are among the many animals covered in this broad survey. Colorful, realistic drawings of about a dozen animals are scattered over each two-page spread along with short blocks of text that serve as extended captions. A few of the larger drawings are partial cross-sections that show major internal organs. The captions offer brief descriptions and miscellaneous facts. While this oversized title has an attractive format and a clearly written text, it has flaws. For instance, the amount of information offered on any one animal is minimal. Two sensational and garish symbols are employed throughout to highlight descriptions of animals deemed especially "weird" or "disgusting" and do not match the generally straightforward presentation. Some blocks of text discuss the characteristics of two or more animals, although only one is depicted in the accompanying illustrations. A chapter that supposedly focuses on the fauna of an American desert also mentions characteristics of an African snake and an Australian amphibian. Similar information is available in Barry Clarke's Amphibian (Knopf, 1993) and Colin McCarthy's Reptile (Knopf, 1991). These books are better organized, are illustrated with clear color photographs, and have a more scientific point of view.
Karey Wehner, San Francisco Public Library
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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