VENOM by Marilyn Singer


Age Range: 10 - 14
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This substantial introduction to toxic creatures of all kinds, both poisonous (to eat) and venomous (injecting their poison), is chock full of fascinating facts. Organizing the text by habitat, Singer moves from home and garden through desert, woods and jungle, to the sea shores, coral reefs and ocean depths. She discusses some species in several different chapters: Snakes appear in the grass, the desert, the pond, the jungle and the sea. The organization occasionally breaks down. In “Home is where the venom is,” the reader learns that black lemurs in Madagascar use millipede poison to repel insects. The busy design is clearly aimed at middle graders who may not recognize the bits of song and poetry behind the catchy chapter titles, but will appreciate the light tone. Sidebars provide extra information and puzzles for the reader. Despite repeated assurances that such animals are of more value than threat to humans, the overall effect is pretty scary. A two page webliography lists an intriguing variety of mostly academic and governmental sites for further exploration of this always interesting subject. (acknowledgments, bibliography, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-58196-043-3
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Darby Creek
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2007


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