Review Blog

Mar 31 2010

The Snake Book: Slip Sliding Away by Damian Goodall

cover image

black dog books, 2010. ISBN 978 1742031408  $16.99 32pp
(Ages: Primary) Recommended. A wonderful, entertaining and informative non fiction book about snakes will be read and reread by primary students once it hits the shelves. The beautiful Shutterstock snake on the front cover will draw attention to the book, and then the chapters, firstly giving general information about snakes: where they live, hunting and feeding, snake babies and so on, followed by chapters on specific snakes, will have readers engrossed.
A map on page 5 gives some idea to younger readers about where the snakes are to be found, then from page 12 on, double page spreads are devoted to individual snakes. Kids will be enthralled at the photographs. Wonderfully clear colourful shots of the anaconda, the world's heaviest snake or the bright milk snake, the scary cobra, the noisy rattlesnake and the camouflaged emerald tree snake, all entice the reader to look closely at the text and the accompanying pictures.
A side panel for each snake gives more detail about the habitat in which that particular snake is to be found, a measuring guide, animals that live in its proximity and where it lives. The panels are full of information able to be retrieved quickly and easily, and the text then rounds out that information. Small fact boxes with odd snippets of information can be found on some pages, enlivening the text. A list of further reading, with a glossary and small but adequate index make up the last page. All in all a wonderful resource for classrooms, or for kids to pick up and read, in the Wild Planet series from black dog books.
Damian Goodall is a reptile keeper at the Melbourne Zoo, and many kids who read this book will envy him.
Fran Knight

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