Friday, January 29, 2016

Reptiles! and a give-away

I love reptiles. So I was doubly excited when National Geographic sent these two books my way last month.

Ultimate Reptileopedia: The Most Complete Reptile Reference Ever
by Christina Wilsdon
272 pages; ages 7-10
National Geographic Children's Books, 2015

 How can you resist opening a book with the face of a Tokay gecko plastered on the cover? Cute, right?

This hefty guide begins with an overview: what a reptile is (contrasted to an amphibian); diversity of reptiles; reptile basics (scutes and scales); behavior; and life cycle. There are short sections on camouflage, reptile homes, what they eat and what eats them.

Then Wilsdon dives right into the different groups of reptiles: lizards and snakes; turtles and tortoises; crocs and alligators; and a funny little group called tuataras. Each two-page spread includes a detailed photo of the featured creature, a description about their life and behavior, a "facts" box and additional cool things to know. For example: did you know that Australia is minting a set of coins featuring reptiles? And that there really are dragons? And there are lizards that look like worms?

There is also an interview with a herpetologist - that's a scientist who studies reptiles - and a discussion about what you can do to help save reptiles from extinction.

Mission: Sea Turtle Rescue
by Karen Romano Young
112 pages; ages 10 & up
National Geographic Children's Books, 2015

 This is one of the Mission: Animal Rescue series that focuses on saving animals in danger. Habitat loss, hunting, and other human activities are threatening many animals - but this book points to ways children can help turtles and other animals.

Learning about sea turtles means getting wet, so the author takes us into the ocean to show us how they live and grow. If sea turtles had a superpower it would be flying through the water. They are built for speed. But they can get tangled up in nets and debris.

Young highlights different kinds of sea turtles, and shows how people are protecting hatchlings. Throughout the book we meet sea turtles that have been rescued and explorers who work with them. There are also "Rescue Activities" - things kids can do to learn more about sea turtles and increase awareness about sea turtles in their communities. The last two chapters focus on human-turtle interactions and what's being done to save sea turtles. A page of resources provides links for people who want to learn more about sea turtles, adopt a sea turtle, or go visit them.

Give-Away! Win a copy of Sea Turtle Rescue. Just leave a comment about reptiles or sea turtles before Feb 10. I'll choose a winner by random drawing and let you know on Feb. 12. (Limited to addresses in the US)

Today's review is part of the STEM Friday roundup. Drop by STEM Friday blog for more science books and resources. Review copies from the publisher.


  1. Thanks for telling me about these. I love the NatGeo books for kids. I will be looking for the Ultimate Reptileopedia. It looks terrific. Please let someone else win. I'm in the middle of a move and don't need another book to pack!

  2. Love books about animals especially ones with lots of great details. Nat Geo books are always Great resource and fun!

  3. My grandmother introduced me to National Geographic. That was many years ago and I have never tired of the wonders of the world presented to me in text and pictures. Thank you for sharing :)

  4. These look great. Reptiles are awesome. And each year new species are being found. In 2015 scientists discovered the first biofluorescent reptile--the hawkbill sea turtle. Now how cool is that?! And just last week I read a post about a new species of chameleon in Tanzania. If scientists keep making these discoveries, we'll need to make more books highlighting them.

  5. I recently moved to West Palm Beach Florida and have yet to visit the turtle rescue sites. I hear there is so much to see about them and cannot wait to learn more. Just love turtles.

  6. Fantastic books that support STEM. National Geographic always publishes the best. Thank you for the opportunity to win SEA TURTLE RESCUE.
    ~Suzy Leopold

  7. Wonderful! My kindergartener loves sea turtles and would be thrilled to have this book. Thanks for offering the giveaway.

    1. Traci - you're the winner - can you email me your address? email to sueheaven(at)gmail(dot)com

  8. Thank you! Excellent, what a great post. My daughter and I love sea turtles. One of our favorite travel memories involves holding a baby sea turtle.

  9. Both of these books look incredible--I've always wanted to go on a volunteer vacation to help shepherd newly hatched sea turtles into the ocean.

  10. These look great. I've been studying turtles in general lately. Always looking for new info!

  11. What wonderful books! Any child gets to use their imagination to go where the turtles and such are and learn about where they live.

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