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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Everything you need to know about FROGS and other slippery creatures, edited by Carrie Love. DK, Tourmaline Editions. 2011. $17.99 ages 8 and up

"Frogs have very special skin. They don't just wear it, they also drink and breathe through it! Frogs don't usually swallow water like we do. Instead, they absorb most of the moisture they need through their skin. They also get water from prey that they eat."

A table of contents invites us in with such descriptive and engaging chapters as 'the glass frog', 'the water-holding frog', 'top ten deadliest'. I mean, who can resist that?

And then there's the cover. Can you help but be impressed with it? It is the first of many amazing photographs that crowd the pages of this exemplary book of information about frogs and other slippery creatures. We are barely inside when we faced with a page full of such creatures, each suggesting the fun to be had when we take our time to wander through the pages of gathered information.

We begin with amphibians and their habitat. We are told that amphibians have soft, moist skin, they live near water and in the rainforest, and that most lay 'soft, jellylike eggs' in water. Moving on to reptiles, we learn that they are quite different from amphibians. Their bodies are covered in dry, horny scales and may lay eggs or give birth to live young. They have backbones and 'vary greatly in shape and size'.

We get a look at their innards and their outer bodies, the life cycle that takes a frog from egg, to tadpole, to emerging frog and finally to a fully formed frog. The variety in color and markings among these creatures is quite remarkable and brilliantly displayed in a series of full color photographs. Where they live, who they are, a comparison of size, how they protect themselves....all are covered in brightly colored pages with useful text boxes, games and information bars.

The glass frog?

"With its amazing see-through body, the glass frog blends in perfectly with its surroundings. This little frog hangs on to leaves with tiny round-ended toes that seem almost to melt into the leaf surface. It lives in Central and South America."

Some of the top ten deadliest include the Australian brown snake, the puff adder, the black mamba, and the komodo dragon. Want to know about the others? You need this book!
I'm only half-way through...there is much more to learn!

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