Books by John Rice

CHILDREN'S
Released: Aug. 1, 2005

In lightly revised articles that first appeared in Highlights, Myers looks at 11 topics in human biology, from hard-to-explain puzzlers like laughter and tongue rolling, to the deleterious effects of loud noises, ultraviolet rays and smoking. Boiling down (cited) research reports, he writes in fluent, informal prose, slipping in references to questions or comments received from children along with the occasional statistic or scientific term. Though he sounds several cautionary notes—particularly about the dangers of cigarettes, which Boyles backs up with a chapter on smoking as an addiction among young people—the overall tone is light, bucked up by Rice's colorful diagrams and cartoon vignettes, plus a lively photo or two. Consistently attentive to the interests of his intended audience, Myers is one of the most engaging science writers around; here he's in top form, and rare is the reader who will be able to resist his invitation to see what makes us, and the world, tick. (bibliography) (Nonfiction. 8-10)Read full book review >
SEA SNAKES by Sneed B. Collard III
ANIMALS
Released: March 17, 1993

Striking underwater photos and a brief text focus on sea snakes and sea kraits, poisonous reptiles found in warm coastal waters from East Africa to the Americas' west coasts. More than 50 species of true sea snakes live in tropical seas. The Yellow- bellied sea snake, vividly photographed here, is one of the most common and colorful; Collard describes its habits and life cycle, while drawings detail features like jaws, oar-shaped tail, and special nose valves. Though the sea snake has no natural enemies, it's hunted for its meat, skin, and venom (used in research). While this introduction is dramatic, it has some format problems: boldface and italics are erratically used, while the text floats in two or three columns without regard for normal paragraphing. Odd facts are unsourced (``In 1932 a man named W. P. Lowe saw a slick of sea snakes more than sixty miles long! It contained millions of sea snakes''). Since photos aren't captioned, it's not always clear what species are shown. Still, an intriguing first look at an unusual reptile. Index. (Nonfiction. 10-12) Read full book review >