Reptiles. You know – turtles. Alligators. Geckos. Snakes. Pretty neat stuff. I used to think that reptiles were the best thing that ever happened (after dolphins and Alaskan Malamutes, that is) and would spend hours looking through my very own snake book. I still have that book, but I rarely look at it. It’s not that I don’t like snakes, I just don’t feel much affection for them anymore.
Anyway, that was a rabbit trail. This book – Reptiles: True or False – was quite different from my old book. The book is divided into little two-page sections. On the first page, a question is posed and on the second page it is answered. Here is an example.
A snake sways to the music of a snake charmer. True or False?
False! A snake cannot hear the charmer’s music. A snake just follows the movement of the pipe and the charmer’s swaying. The snake slowly raises its head and neck, just as it follows any prey – ready to attack. Snake charmers use cobras, which flatten their necks before striking.
Interesting, huh? On every page is included a picture which relates to the subject matter.
Here are a few of the interesting facts that I learned.
There are no snakes in Antarctica, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, and New Zealand. [pg. 6]
Snakes cannot crawl backward. [pg. 8] (I suppose that one’s obvious, but I never stopped to think of it.)
Chameleons can change their color. True or False?
True! Often, the color change helps some chameleons hide from their enemies. But in other chameleons, the change can show shifts in mood. A green chameleon will turn black when it is angry. It turns yellow if it is in danger or under attack. [pgs. 41-42]
Sea turtles can swallow food only when their heads are in the water. [pg. 20]
The very first question is this.
Reptiles have been on Earth for millions of years. True or False?
True! Dinosaurs were early reptiles. Today there are more than 8,000 different kinds of reptiles. They are divided into four large groups: snakes, turtles, alligators and crocodiles, and lizards. Most live in warm places. Most lay eggs. And all are cold-blooded. Their body temperature changes according to the surrounding temperature. [pgs. 3-4]
This question is the first of the book, so the evolutionary reference could be removed by taping the page to the previous page (which is only credits and has nothing interesting on it).
Conclusion. A very fun but tiny book.
Review © 2013 Laura Verret