Monday, June 27, 2011

Scientists in the Field

And back to our not-so-regularly-scheduled program. . .

Matt always has a mile long list of things he wants for his birthday.  Gabe is a little harder to buy for.  His interests tend to be a little more focused and he isn't in the habit of shouting, "I want that!" after every toy commerical.

Lately (and to my father's horror), Gabe has been interested in snakes.  He also loves to read. So, I thought maybe I'd get him some books about snakes.

Snake by Chris Mattison was the first one I picked out.

I knew Gabe would love it for the photographs and for all the little factoids on each snake.

The Trans-Pecos Rat Snake can grow as long as 6 feet, 6 inches!

And just in case the book didn't have enough cringe factor, it also has a full spread on Gabe's favorite snake: the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.

I do not have my father's phobia of snakes, but there are still pages of this book that give me goosebumps.  Needless to say, Gabe loves it.

The other birthday book I purchased was the one that had me most excited.  I found The Snake Scientist by Sy Montgomery.  It's part of a series of books I just discovered, "Scientists in the Field." I suspect we will be getting a lot more of these (in fact, I've The Woods Scientist hidden for Matt's birthday.  Shhh!)

This book follows Bob Mason and his study of red-sided garter snakes. It's detailed and yet written on a child's level. I've started to read it to Gabe a couple of times, but he takes it from me and goes where it's quiet so he can study on his own.

I was rather pleased with my finds for the young paleontologist/mathematician/biologist.

My dad was appalled.

"What if he sees a real snake, picks it up and brings it inside?" he asked.

I answered that I wasn't worried about it.  Knowledge is power.  I want to encourage his interests. If Gabe wants to be the household snake expert, then it's the perfect opportunity to talk about snakes and respecting them. 

When we got home, however, I took the precaution of warning both boys.  There are to be no snakes in Mommy's house.  EVER.

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Snake by Chris Mattison at Barnes and Noble

Scientists in the Field series at Barnes and Noble

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