Have you ever found a snake in your garden? Watched a turtle cross the road? Met a dragon face-to-face? These books are all about the cold-blooded, scaly denizens of our planet, and how we can make our world a better place for them.
Ultimate Reptileopedia: The Most Complete Reptile Reference Ever by Christina Wilsdon
The first section introduces what reptiles are, adaptations, habitats, and conservation concerns. This is followed by sections with detailed information on a diversity of species: lizards and snakes; turtles and tortoises; and crocodilians. Each spread includes a photo, quick facts, and an encyclopedic entry about the featured reptile. Plus there’s a chat with a herpetologist at the end.
World’s Biggest Reptiles by Tom Jackson with illustrations by Vladimir Jevtic
How can animals grow so big – and why would they? This book takes a look at huge reptiles in the ocean and on land. There’s a fun mix of photos, textboxes, and graphic-style pages with speech bubbles as well as size comparisons to a human.
Unusual Life Cycles of Reptiles by Jaclyn Jaycox
Which reptiles are only female, which climb trees, and which ones take 18 months to hatch? These fascinating facts, as well as the lifecycles, lifespans, migrations, and reproduction of a range of reptiles are explored using a combination of full page photographs, side-bar fact nuggets, and helpful back matter.
One Iguana, Two Iguanas: A Story of Accident, Natural Selection, and Evolution by Sneed B. Collard III
A great introduction to the marine iguana and land iguana that live in the Galapagos Islands. This book covers the formation of the islands and how iguanas arrived (by accident!). It shows how the Galapagos shaped the evolution of other species as well.
Sneed B. Collard III’s Most Fun Book Ever About Lizards by Sneed B. Collard III
Lizards are the least understood but most common reptile on our planet. This book introduces a diversity of lizards, how they eat and keep from being eaten, and other adaptations. There’s a section on threats to lizards and conservation efforts.
Komodo Dragons: Deadly Hunting Reptiles by Rebecca Hirsch
Fun exploration of the traits, habits, and habitats of a Komodo Dragon, through the use of a compare and contrast evaluation of other unusual, amazing reptiles. Although the Rhinoceros Iguana, Mexican Mole Lizard, Yellow-Bellied Sea Snakes, and Burmese Pythons share some individual aspects, the Komodo Dragon is a unique, big, venomous reptile. The book includes conservation efforts, a trait chart, and expanded learning resources.
DK Everything You Need to Know About Snakes and Other Scaly Reptiles by John Woodward
After a quick definition and a family tree, this book jumps right into snakes. We see the insides of snakes and a detailed skeleton, learn all about how fangs work, what venom is, and how it works. An interactive component is added by turning the book.
A good introduction to finding snakes, as well as their anatomy, how they eat, how they move, and adaptations. Lots of fun “snake science” sidebars sprinkled throughout. Activities include experiments and art projects that are simple, engaging, and safe for kids.
Sea Turtles are Awesome by Mirella S. Miller
A concise overview of sea turtles, their adaptations to underwater life, where they live, what they eat, threats facing them, and what you can do to help save sea turtles. Throughout the book are sidebars highlighting a number. It might be how many hours it takes to dig a nest, with a bullet-list of details about how to dig one, or the number of eyelids a sea turtle has.
Turtles & Tortoises: An In-depth Look at Chelonians, the Shelled Reptiles That Have Existed Since the Time of Dinosaurs by Taylor, Barbara
Full of stunning photographs and detailed diagrams, this book delves into the features and movement, life cycles and survival, habitats and history of familiar and strange chelonians. In addition to six detailed “Focus On” sections (one on the Galapagos Tortoise), it offers fascinating nuggets from the literature, mythology, and art surrounding turtles, tortoises, and terrapins.
Alligators and Crocodiles!: Strange and Wonderful by Laurence Pringle and illustrated by Meryl Henderson.
This book opens with an up-close-and-personal encounter with an alligator and its hatchlings. From there we are introduced to the diversity of crocodilians, and how they are alike and different. There’s info on conservation issues, too.
Bringing Back the American Alligator by Cynthia O’Brien
The American alligator was endangered at one time, but conservation efforts helped the population recover. This book shows how legislation and action by federal and state agencies helped protect the alligator. The increasing number of gators is helping restore the ecosystem as well. Includes information about what people can do to keep wetland habitats healthy for all species.
This month’s book list prepared by:
Sue Heavenrich is a blogger, author and, as a kid, adopted a horned lizard (aka: horny toad) and curated a collection of snake skulls on a hidden shelf in the back of the garage. When not writing, you’ll find her counting pollinators in the garden or tromping through the woods. Visit her at www.sueheavenrich.com.
Maria Marshall is a children’s author, blogger, and poet passionate about making nature and reading fun for children. She’s been a judge for the Cybils Awards from 2017 to present. Her poems are published in The Best Of Today’s Little Ditty 2017-2018, 2016, and 2014-2015 anthologies. When not writing, critiquing, or reading, she bird watches, travels the world, bakes, and hikes. Visit her at www.mariacmarshall.com.