Friday, October 30, 2009

Review: Rattlesnake Rules

Well, it is certainly wildlife appreciation week at our house - how did the publishers get it right?! A book about bears, a series about chickadees, and now a book about rattlesnakes - all in one week! Sure enough, we get rattlers here in Oregon, too - even had a report of one right on our road this summer - the road we walk to the post office.

Hi, I'm Esmé, and I am two and a HALF years old. I got a cool book about rattlesnakes to talk about today. Did you know rattlesnakes are all girls? Neither did Mommy. I made that one up all by myself.

Moving on to the book... Rattlesnake Rules is written by Conrad J. Storad and illustrated by Nathaniel P. Jensen. I like that Nathaniel guy - he makes the best pictures! The book is 40 pages, and the recommended ages are 4-8. Written in rhyme, it is packed with humor and great nature facts.

Here's what the publisher has to say about it:

"In his just released book, Rattlesnake Rules, Conrad demystifies the world of rattlesnakes and introduces children to such topics as who, when and what rattlesnakes eat. He shows readers why rattlesnakes have rattles and what it means if you hear one. You will learn how the snakes' forked tongues help them survive. The delightful and colorful illustrations of Nathaniel P. Jensen help bring the story alive."

Here's what I have to say about it (Mommy's words in dark, mine in light...):

  • What is the book about? R-r-r-r-r-rattles-s-s-s-s-snakes!
  • "Animals learn..." Wait! You must start at the first page! OK, OK, back to the title page... Rattlesnake Rules, written by Conrad ... That's better!
  • Look! There's the mommy snake and there are the babies! How do you know which one is the mommy? She's got a necklace!
  • Is she teaching the babies rules? Yeah! And she is ringing a bell with her tail!
  • What do rattlesnakes eat? Mice! Poor mice! Huh? Good, you haven't figured out the Mickey connection yet...
  • Do you like the book? Yeah!
  • Do you like snakes? Yeah!
  • What should you do if you hear or see a rattlesnake? Step back slowly? And RUN!
Mommy's Notes

Another terrific nature book! This one is all fun - we could spend hours just looking at the illustrations to figure out the interesting details, like the mama's necklace. And the idea of snakes sitting around the mama as she teaches them vital lessons about hunting and playing and eating just makes me smile. As does the idea of a baby being scared of its own tail...

Packed into the fun and rhyme are some great lessons, though. Not just the factual ones, such as how snakes locate food and how they swallow it. The book starts with the concept that there are natural rules - rules that all living creatures need to enable us to live and enjoy life.

Snakes have their own set of rules, and we have ours. By knowing the rules, we can get past the fear and learn more about the awesome creatures in our midst.

One of my favorite parts of the book, which we haven't explored in much detail yet, is the back - with fast facts, fun facts, mysteries, myths vs. facts, vocabulary guide, and an entire curriculum guide to use with this book. This book is definitely staying on our science shelf for future homeschool use.

For more information or to purchase the book (on sale now for $12.88), check out Five Star Publications. Or take a look at the Rattlesnake Rules home page for fun stuff like a coloring page.

Thanks to Five Star Publications for the review book, and to Mama Buzz for coordinating the review opportunity. (And check out Mama Buzz for a giveaway of two of these books!)


Pamela said...

I had so much fun reading this review!