HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Garter Snake at Willow Creek Lane
Author: Janet Halfmann
Illustrator: Anne Wertheim
Publisher: Soundprints, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-1-60727-208-3 (paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-1-60727-209-0 (micro book)
Related website: www.soundprints.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Grades 2-4
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Halfmann, Janet. Garter Snake at Willow Creek Lane (published in 2011 by Soundprints, an imprint of Palm Publishing LLC, 353 Main Ave., Norwalk, CT, for the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560). Do you like snakes? Some people are afraid of snakes, but most snakes are harmless and in fact are very helpful to mankind. Garter Snake is a young eastern garter snake, the last of eighteen born behind the yellow house on Willow Creek Lane late one summer. Unlike many other snakes which hatch from eggs, garter snakes are born live. Where will Garter Snake live? What will she eat? What other animals will try to eat her? How will she react to the family dog? How will the humans react to her? And where will she spend the winter?
Garter Snake at Willow Creek is part of the “Smithsonian’s Backyard” series, developed under the direction of curators for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Author Janet Halfmann uses a fictional story to provide fascinating natural history facts about this common creature. Did you know that garter snakes are pretty much on their own from birth? Youngsters will delight in the full-page, full-color illustrations by Anne Wertheim. The back page contains further information “About the Garter Snake,” along with a glossary and a list of points of interest in the book. A free read-along audiobook is available for download at the publisher’s website. What child (or adult) could be scared of a cute, little garter snake after reading this warm, friendly book?