Lizards & Snakes Booklist for Kids

Elementary School
  • Slinky, Scaly, Slithery Snakes
    by Dorothy Patent

    Aimed at Grades 2-5, this book full of vivid paintings is a satisfying introduction to snakes. Spare text describes the basics of snake biology and highlights some special characteristics of individual species. A world map shows the distribution of 20 species. 
    Walker, 2000. ISBN: 08027-76523

  • Lizards Weird and Wonderful
    by Margery Facklam; illustrated by Alan Male 

    An in-depth look into the world of 13 fascinating lizards, from the color-changing chameleon to the flower-eating chuckwalla to the legless glass snake. Standard biological information is accompanied by colorful illustrations and details about intriguing behavior like gliding (the flying dragon), squirting blood from its eyes (the horned lizard), and running on water (the basilisk lizard). 
    Little, Brown, 2003. ISBN: 0316173460

  • Snake: The Essential Visual Guide to the World of Snakes
    by Chris Mattison

    A lavishly illustrated guide to snakes’ habitats, reproductive behavior, feeding practices, defense mechanisms, and much more. A directory lists the 18 snake families, and each entry provides at-a-glance information about every featured snake, both familiar and less well known. The book also includes interesting snake-related myths and trivia.
    Dorling Kindersley, 1999. ISBN: 078944660X

  • Eyewitness: Reptile
    by Colin McCarthy 

    This contribution to the Eyewitness series is full of striking color photographs, entertaining drawings, and short paragraphs about reptile diversity, evolution, anatomy (inside and out), reproduction, and habitat. 
    Dorling Kindersley, 1991. ISBN: 0863185762

  • See-through Reptiles
    by Steve Parker, illustrated by Rod Ferring 

    Acetate overlays offer kids an innovative way to learn about lizards, snakes, turtles, crocodiles, and other reptile. Readers get an up-close look at the way a chameleon changes color, or a baby crocodile develops in an egg. 
    Running Press, 2004. ISBN: 076241989X

Middle School
  • The Snake Scientist
    by Sy Montgomery

    A fun and insightful look at the research of the red-sided garter snake in Canada by a team of biologists. Compelling large, full-color photographs of many slithering snakes and researchers in the field.
    Houghton Mifflin, 2001. ISBN: 0618111190

  • Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America
    by Roger Conant and Joseph T. Collins

    4th edition. Peterson Field Guide series. 
    This authoritative guide makes it easy for students, teachers and parents to identify species in the field. Comprehensive descriptions of 595 species and subspecies are accompanied by beautiful and instructive illustrations and drawings. Includes a section on how to care for reptiles and amphibians in captivity. Houghton Mifflin,1998. ISBN: 0395904528

  • Firefly Encyclopedia of Reptiles and Amphibians
    edited by Tim Halliday and Kraig Adler 

    This authoritative yet accessible encyclopedia combines essays from expert contributors with engaging artwork and photographs. Essential facts are provided for each species, including its distribution, life cycle, and conservation status.
    Firefly Books, 2002. ISBN: 1552976130

  • Snake: The Essential Visual Guide to the World of Snakes
    by Chris Mattison

    A lavishly illustrated guide to snakes’ habitats, reproductive behavior, feeding practices, defense mechanisms, and much more. A directory lists the 18 snake families, and each entry provides at-a-glance information about every featured snake, both familiar and less well known. The book also includes interesting snake-related myths and trivia.
    Dorling Kindersley, 1999. ISBN: 078944660X

  • Smithsonian Handbooks: Reptiles and Amphibians
    by Tim Halliday and Mark O'Shea

    This comprehensive and easy-to-use field guide identifies more than 400 species of reptiles and amphibians from around the world. Each description is accompanied by a photograph annotated to highlight the animal’s characteristics and distinguishing features, as well as a map of its habitat. Includes a glossary of scientific and technical terms.
    Dorling Kindersley, 2002. ISBN: 0789493934

  • A Field Guide to Western Reptiles and Amphibians (Peterson Field Guides, 3rd Ed.).
    Illustrated by Robert C. Stebbin

    A well organized and profusely illustrated field guide to all of western North America’s reptiles and amphibians. More than 650 full-color paintings and photographs will help both experts and the amateur make accurate identifications, and up-to-date color range maps show where to look. The guide includes information about conservation status.
    Houghton Mifflin, 2003. ISBN: 0395982723

High School
  • Lizards: A Natural History of Some Uncommon Creatures—Extraordinary Chameleons, Iguanas, Geckos, & More
    by David P. Badger, photographs by John Netherton

    A handsome, accessible guide to more than 25 species, the book presents many interesting facts about lizard biology, including their characteristics, behaviors and natural history. 100 color photos, many full-page.
    Voyageur Press, 2003. ISBN 0896585204 (hardcover), 0760325790 (paperback)

  • The Atlas of Snakes of the World
    by John Coborn 

    An excellent introduction to the study of snakes, with over 1400 color photos representing hundreds of species. A detailed section on snake husbandry covers all aspects of keeping a snake as a terrarium pet.
    TFH Publications, 1991. ISBN: 0866227490

  • Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians: Eastern and Central North America
    by Roger Conant and Joseph T. Collins 

    4th edition. Peterson Field Guide series. 
    This authoritative guide makes it easy for students, teachers and parents to identify species in the field. Comprehensive descriptions of 595 species and subspecies are accompanied by beautiful, instructive illustrations and drawings. Includes a section on how to care for reptiles and amphibians in captivity. Houghton Mifflin,1998. ISBN: 0395904528

  • Smithsonian Handbooks: Reptiles and Amphibians
    by Tim Halliday and Mark O'Shea

    This comprehensive and easy-to-use field guide identifies more than 400 species of reptiles and amphibians from around the world. Each description is accompanied by a photograph annotated to highlight the animal’s characteristics and distinguishing features, as well as a map of its habitat. Includes a glossary of scientific and technical terms. 
    Dorling Kinderseley Publishing, 2002. ISBN: 0789493934

  • Snakes: The Evolution of Mystery in Nature
    by Harry W. Greene, with photographs by Michael and Patricia Fogden

    This definitive and highly personal celebration of snake diversity combines extensive factual information, current evolutionary biology, folklore and anecdote, and beautiful color photographs. 
    University of California Press,1997. ISBN: 0520224876