Book: Snakes

Authors: Erik D. Stoops and Annette T. Wright

Publisher: Sterling, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0806984834

ISBN-10: 080698483X

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: Ages 9 and up

Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)

Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker

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     Stoops, Erik DSnakes (published in 1994 by Sterling).  When our boys were learning to read and even afterwards, we liked to use colorful, informative books, often checked out of the library, to give them extra practice and to complement their history, geography, and science studies.  In this easy-to-read book, a question-and-answer format is utilized with an abundance of facts about snakes from around the world, from harmless to poisonous, from smallest to largest varieties, most represented in full-color photographs. The various species are organized according to their physical characteristics, behavior, and relationship with humans. This is not a small, early reader but consists of eighty pages and provides plenty of information for a youngster interested in herpetology.

     Erik D. Stoops is the pseudonym Erik Daniel Shein, an American writer, herpetologist and motion picture producer, who is an international bestselling author of over thirty nonfiction and fiction books. His writings include six scientific articles in the field of herpetology, and his bestselling children’s book, The Forgotten Ornament is a Christmas classic, endorsed by Hollywood legends Mickey and Jan Rooney.  One of Shein’s passions is classic animation, including his CGI and 2D original story, The Legend of the Secret Pass, which was made into an independent theatrical animated motion picture.  Shein also created the TV show Reptile Chronicles, where he hosted each adventure as the character “Professor E” with his animation side kick, Doupy the Gila monster.  He has consulted over the years with such organizations as the Arizona Fish and Game Department and USFWS in assisting them to protect endangered wildlife.

     Annette Wright has more than ten years of experience with the care of reptiles in captivity.  She and Shein, who is currently President and Director of the Scottsdale, AZ, Children’s Nature Center for Science and Education, through which he annually lectures at 125 schools throughout the country to teach children about protecting and conserving the animals and plants of the desert, have collaborated on another book, Snakes and Other Reptiles of the Southwest from Primer Publishers, which is a user-friendly guide to snakes, lizards, and turtles of the Southwest.  Our older son Mark was really interested in snakes in the early grades, and another book that we checked out of the library for him to read about the same time was Snakes by Seymour Simon from the Smithsonian Institution collection of non-fiction science books for children.

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