Whether they've been stung by a bee or seen more deadly creatures at the zoo or on television, kids are fascinated by and afraid of poisonous creatures. This book explains everything about these animals, from how they produce their venom to how they've been used by humans to win wars and kill prisoners. Trivia-hungry readers will be amazed to learn that the king cobra can grow to a length of 18 feet and that some ants can use their poison to put out small fires. The Bergers ask and answer questions about snakes, ants, bees, jellyfish, spiders, poisonous frogs, stingrays, and many more creatures, both rare and common. They give kids clear explanations of the differences between poisonous and non-poisonous snakes, caterpillars, and other animals they may encounter close to home.
Eighty questions and answers are presented in a straightforward format. This arrangement works very well for this book as it allows the reader to read through the whole book, beginning to end, or to browse the topics most interesting to him/her. The facts are presented in a brief but effective manner enabling the reader to gain an unexpected amount of surprising information. The Bergers feature animals that bite, animals that sting and animals dangerous to touch. Vivid illustrations accompany each page of approximately three to four questions. This is similar to books in the "I Wonder Why" series published by Kingfisher but without the distracting asides. It is part of the "Scholastic Question and Answer" series, which looks very interesting and promising. 2000, Scholastic, $5.95. Ages 6 to 10. Reviewer: Trina Heidt