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neat and fun resource for children's science studies
on March 8, 2010
Have you ever seen a rattlesnake? Have you ever heard one rattle? Rattlesnakes have gotten a bad reputation over the years, mostly because they are misunderstood. Yes, they do pose a hazard to people, but they are part of God's creation and serve a useful purpose, part of which is eating rats and mice which can carry diseases harmful to humans. Author Conrad J. Storad, a long time resident of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona, helps children learn more about these fascinating creatures by presenting in poetic form what a mother rattlesnake might tell her young ones about rules for hunting, eating, and warning, and also rules for humans to keep safe. The eye-catching illustrations by Nathaniel P. Jensen, which remind me of Disney snakes like Kaa of The Jungle Book and Sir Hiss of Robin Hood, help to bring the book alive. Can you guess what a rattlesnake uses its forked tongue for?
Storad, a journalist, has long been fascinated by the diversity of plants and animals that live in the desert. Among his previous 32 science and nature books are Meerkats, the Arizona Book Publishing Association's "Arizona Best Book of 2008;" Don't Call Me a Pig! (A Javelina Story); Desert Night Shift (A Pack Rat Story); Lizards for Lunch (A Roadrunner's Story); and Don't Ever Cross That Road (An Armadillo Story). The back of Rattlesnake Rules contains several pages of "Rattlesnake Fast Facts," "Rattlesnake Fun Facts," "Rattlesnake Mysteries," "Rattlesnake Myths Vs. Facts," "Words to Learn," and a useful "Rattlesnake Rules Curriculum Guide" provided by librarian and teacher Jean Kilker with suggested activities that will help parents and teachers reinforce the material in the book. This is a really neat and fun book that should prove to be a good resource in children's science reading. Some parents will want to know that there is one reference which says, "Scientists think that the snake's rattle evolved as a warning device."