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Sneed B. Collard III's Most Fun Book Ever About Lizards

Sneed B. Collard III's Most Fun Book Ever About Lizards - Sneed B. Collard III Okay, so this is the first in a stack of informational books. It takes on a very wide topic--all lizards--which the author notes represents over half of all reptiles. So this photograph-oriented book is completely topical, and each 'chapter' (there's a TOC at the front)takes on an aspect of interest for the topic.

Collard provides copious text for each section of the book, in a joking voice that reminds me a little of Kratt's Kreatures from the 1990s on PBS (I guess they have a newer animated show on now). The jokes are frequently designed to anthropomorphize, which is often unacceptable to scientists reviewing children's books--but he clearly emphasizes that it's a joke to do so.

Most doubles in this book have a large captioned photograph to go with the topical text, and an unrelated fact in a small informational sidebar in yellow. The structure works well for National Geographic style reading--i.e., browsing the pictures first. The sidebars offer factual tidbits for a small amount of reading. This book should be very good for research on the topic because of how much text there is.

As an aesthetic experience, I felt like the photos were the strength of the book--I was interested in browsing around several times. The jokes in the text were often cheesy, and I didn't care for them.

For informational text, help me out Stacy, we do not let go of the fact that a picturebook is a piece of art and needs to be at the heart of an art transaction, an aesthetic experience. I'll try over the next few dozen books to focus on this aspect of informational books.

Collard doesn't offer background to convince us of science credentials, only his past books. His writing provides an everyday person's reading of lizards, not a scientist's reading. He has consulted scientists, vets, and others without clear citation, and spends a small section at the end on external sources for further reading. For the most part his treatment is self-referential, and does not do much to guide the reader's look at the topic outside the book.

BTW, Collard used a Spanish phrase that looks like he got it from Google translate. "Do lizards speak Spanish?" cannot be translated word for word as "Haga los lagartos hablan Espanol?" An editor should have checked this! Either 'Hablan los lagartos Espanol' or 'Se hablan los lagartos Espanol' would have been more correct.