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NONFICTION

Water-Walking, Sidewinding, and Other Remarkable Reptile Adaptations

Nomad. (Picture Book Science). Aug. 2020. 32p. Tr $19.95. ISBN 9781619309456; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781619309487.
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K-Gr 3–This entertaining book highlights the unique adaptations of 13 reptiles, including the blue-tailed skink and Mexican mole lizard. The book opens with an acrostic poem. Following that introduction, each reptile is given two pages. The first page introduces the featured reptile with an accompanying illustration of its native habitat. The second page depicts the reptile and its unique adaptation. A sentence in a large, playful font emphasizes a compelling fact. Specific facts are written in a smaller font, but maintain the book’s conversational tone: “Mexican mole lizards live in the desert on the other side of the planet. These little creatures have only two small front legs, with toes and claws that help them dig.” (Why Mexico is described as “on the other side of the planet” is questionable.) With the exception of some small photos in the back, the illustrations are anatomically correct and rendered in a gentle, cartoonish style. Some have serene or happy expressions but most (including the Gila monster and sidewinder snake) are shown with neutral features. Mazeika uses a nature-inspired palette. Back matter contains an activity section, additional information, and a glossary.
VERDICT A introductory nonfiction science book that will appeal to animal lovers and youngsters curious about the natural world.

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