Title: Slithery Snakes
Story and art by Roxie Munro
Published by Amazon Publishing, 2013
Themes: snakes, habitats, skin patterns
Nonfiction, 40 pages.
Available in hard back and eBook formats.
Can you guess what kind of snake this is? Because of its stripes, this snake is named after an article of clothing men once wore to hold up their socks. Its species is spread throughout North America.
This nonfiction book set against black background starts with a double-page spread of fun snake facts and a little of their history and anatomy. Did you know that there are no snakes in New Zealand or Ireland and there are few in Hawaii? Then there are eighteen double pages, with the first spread including a question like above, set against a fabulous snake patterned background. The next spread answers the question with key and interesting aspects about that snake, including a full, vibrant illustration of the snake in question set in its ecosystem. Nine snakes are detailed and he book concludes with a useful glossary (I learnt the word, brumate) and suggested reading for further research.
Why I like this book:
This is a book girls and boys curious about these intriguing reptiles, with whom we have a awe/hate relationship. The question and answer format works very well and will make the book a possible read-aloud as well as for individual perusal. There is a lot of information in these forty pages and difficult vocabulary is not avoided, but Roxie pitches the language and information very well for the appropriate age group. The patterns are mesmerizing, vibrant and unique. They gave me a whole new appreciation of this creature and the use of pattern in the natural world. The skin patterns backdrop the questions perfectly and I didn’t know any of the answers! I could tell a lot of research went into this picture book, which was then condensed down to bite-sized but very nutritious, tasty morsels for the young reader.
- Five books and seven websites are offered for further research at the end of the book.
- Allow each child to research their own snake (or other reptile) and illustrate the pattern and come up with a question and response for the class.
- Mrs Brown’s Art Class have a great lesson on patterns in nature.
- On her website, Roxie offers some great website links for further exploration on snakes at her website.
Every Friday, authors and KidLit bloggers post a favorite picture book. To see a complete listing of all the Perfect Picture Books with teaching resources and activities, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.