BOOKS: Snakes

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 1993:

Snakes. By Erik D. Stoops and Annette T. Wright, Sterling Publishing (387 Park Ave.
South, New York, NY 10016), 1992, 80 pages, hardcover $14.95 US, $19.95 Canadian.
This gorgeously illustrated book will appeal to
the junior biologist in us all. Its question and
answer format addresses every aspect of snake
biology and behavior, with questions ranging
from basic to esoteric. Many questions could
only have originated in the curious minds of
young children: “Why do snakes get run over
so often?” for example, or “Do snakes ever
throw up?”

Each question receives a clear and
simple explanation, depending on the inquir-
er’s level of comprehension. Yet it is the
accompanying color photographs that will
attract the most attention. They portray both
common and rare snakes, many in their native
habitats. Some illustrate anatomical details;
others demonstrate reproductive or feeding
habits in ways that words cannot.
The information gathered here is so
vast and so varied, it’s difficult to determine
the book’s intended audience. Pre-school chil-
dren will enjoy the photographs, however, and,
as they grow, will gradually discover the text.
In the process, they should come to appreciate
these “very weird,” wonderful reptiles.
––Cathy Young Czapla
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