Katie of the Sonoran Desert. Based on a true story. This is the true story of Katie, a meter-long western diamondback rattlesnake, and her adventures as she struggles to make a life for herself in the harsh Sonoran Desert. We re with Katie, sharing in her determination as she hunts for the food she needs to stay alive, her terror when attacked by vicious predators, and her care and devotion to the litter of babies she gives birth to. Although the story is told from Katie s point of view, the reason we know so much about her life is because of the work of scientists, who also appear in the story, using the latest technology to learn more about the private lives of snakes, and ultimately facing a terrible decision when Katie s life is in danger. This is the perfect read for any child who wonders what it might be like to be a rattlesnake, as well as for older children who want to know more about what it s like to be a biologist and what the science of studying reptiles and amphibians (herpetology) is all about.
How do you make a cheery children's story about a rattlesnake?
You get a famed herpetologist like Kate Jackson (NOT the actress) to describe a year in the life of the rattlesnake – and include herself as a character in the book. You pick a scenic location like the Sonoran desert, and you make sure you include other animals native to the region. You include a postscript with a short description of the animals and plants featured in the story. You get a talented illustrator like Natalie Rowe to depict the scene. You translate the story so that the pages alternate between English and Spanish. Then, you sit back while readers get absorbed into the tale.