Book Review: Venom
I can see the pitch for this book now…
(Author walks into a room. Sitting at a desk in a large leather office chair sits a skeptical publisher)
Publisher: An entire book about things that have venom? Sorry, but I don’t think you’ve got the makings of book here.
Author: There are more venomous animals than most people realize, I think.
Publisher: (Slightly Annoyed) Right, snakes. Look, we have enough snake books at the moment. If you don’t mind, I’m very busy now-
Author: Wait! There are more. There’s snakes, sure, but there’s also spiders and frogs and –
Publisher: Okay, so there are three animals. Still, it seems like a stretch.
Author: And bees, and salamanders, and –
Publisher: Hmm. I guess I never thought of those other ones.
Author: And ants, and scorpions, and –
Publisher: Alright! I was wrong. It seems that there are a ton of animals that kids find fascinating, that also happen to be deadly. You got me. Tell me more.
Author: Here’s what I’m thinking: tons of quality information, plenty of color photos of the venomous animals in action, and a healthy dollop of weird/crazy sidebar stories to grab readers’ attention. What do you think?
Publisher: Yes, Yes, it’s genius! Those pesky reluctant readers will love it for the exotic animals, exciting pictures, and crazy facts. Teachers will love it for the high quality information. I think that we’ve got a hit on our hands! A quality non-fiction selection if I’ve ever seen one.
Author: (Polishing fingernails on shirt) You’re welcome.
Find this book at your local library with WorldCat
About Travis Jonker
Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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