Reviews for Snakes


Booklist Reviews 2012 November #2
For those who like their snakes way up close and personal, Bishop's stunning photographs ought to do the trick. Unusual varieties of the slithery creatures, most pictured larger than life, fill the pages and are often poised as if ready to jump right out into readers' laps. The photos are so alluring that it is tempting to overlook the text filling negative spaces, but readers will appreciate these brief and engrossing nuggets of information. It's the same simple, highly effective format used in Nic Bishop Spiders (2007), Nic Bishop Frogs (2008), Nic Bishop Lizards (2010), and more. This time out, the showstopping centerfold is a Mojave rattlesnake pictured three times its actual size. The book closes with an interesting two-page note by Bishop about the particular challenges of photographing snakes. This will work as a read-aloud for crowds not easily spooked. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Seemingly impossible-to-get shots of snakes poised and alert, arched and ready to strike, and even swallowing an egg whole are interspersed with more restful moments during which they are coiled onto branches or camouflaged by sand. It will take a while for readers to tear themselves away from the images to read the excellent accompanying text that describes snake behavior, physiology, and eating habits. Reading list. Glos., ind.

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2013 #1
Bishop returns with his always-amazing photographs, here of snakes in all their scaly sinuosity. Seemingly impossible-to-get shots of the animals poised and alert, arched and ready to strike, and even swallowing an egg whole are interspersed with more restful moments during which snakes are coiled onto branches or camouflaged by sand. All the images feature gorgeous colors and a clarity that allows details such as the edges of scales and the flexing of musculature to be examined. It will take a while for readers to tear themselves away from the images to read the accompanying text that describes snake behavior, physiology, and eating habits, including their fascinating ability to swallow animals bigger than themselves. As in previous titles (about Spiders and Frogs, both rev. 3/08; and Lizards, rev. 11/10, for example), topic sentences for each spread appear in a larger font and a contrasting color. In a riveting note at the end of the book, Bishop reveals the lengths he went to to get these perfect shots (including a bite from a brown tree snake that left some of the snake's teeth buried in his hand): he housed several of the snakes and photographed them in controlled environments, sometimes from behind glass for his protection. danielle j. ford

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 August #1

Calling snakes "strange, secretive, and surprising," Bishop offers an excellent photographic guide to these reptiles in all their diversity. Striking magnified images depict a variety of snake species in the wild and in captivity, including a feathered bush viper (whose scales resemble tree leaves), garter snakes overwintering in a burrow, and an African egg-eating snake living up to its moniker. Bishop accompanies the photographs with factual information about each specimen, as well as observations about the snakes' physical characteristics and behavior ("Extra-large scales on a snake's belly act like the tread on your shoes"). Herpetologists in training, look no further. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October

Gr 3-5--Nearly two dozen close-ups of photogenic snakes are highlighted in this introduction. A lucid text, set either on different colored pages or overlaid on photo backgrounds, briefly describes basic anatomy; major physical characteristics common to all snakes; distinctive characteristics of more than a dozen world species; locomotion; diet; hunting and feeding methods; defense mechanisms; and egg-laying and birth of young. The photographs, a mix of full-page and spreads, are sharply focused, well composed, and expertly lighted so that the reptiles' beautiful skin colors and patterns are shown to advantage-the shot of a Central American eyelash viper in attack mode is especially good, and a four-page foldout displaying a coiled Mojave rattlesnake is impressive. Picture captions identify the species depicted and offer additional information on characteristics; the degree of magnification employed is indicated. Other snakes shown include the parrot snake, carpet python, and African egg-eating snake. An afterword describes some of the difficulties Bishop encountered in photographing his subjects. This title compares well with such standards as Sandra Markle's Outside and Inside Snakes (S & S, 1995) and Seymour Simon's Snakes (HarperCollins, 1992) and offers some new tidbits of information. Bishop's brilliantly photographed book will appeal both to snake fans and casual browsers.--Karey Wehner, formerly at San Francisco Public Library

[Page 112]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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