Reviews /

The Versatile Reptile

Authored by Nicola Davies
Illustrated by Abbie Cameron
Published by Graffeg

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The Versatile Reptile is the sixth in the Rhyming Book series written by award-winning children’s author and zoologist Nicola Davies and illustrated by Abbie Cameron, which introduces young readers to the delights of nature.

Whenever I pick up a book and see Nicola Davies’ name on the front, I am immediately reassured that I am in safe hands. This is a writer who has the gift of being able to impart fascinating information in an entertaining and lyrical style. In The Versatile Reptile, the reader follows a young adventurer, disappointed by the scarcity of reptiles in the UK, as she travels the world in search of some of her favourites.

Davies uses rhyme effectively to draw the reader in with a book that sounds great to read aloud. As you would expect from Nicola Davies, the vocabulary chosen is scientifically accurate and challenging. Reading this book with young children gives excellent opportunities to extend their vocabulary. For example, Nicola Davies uses the word hue to describe the colour of reptile scales. This is also illustrated clearly, enabling the reader to make sense of a potentially new word. The word versatile is clearly explained through the content of the book too.

Abbie Cameron’s illustrations have a unique style that brings the various reptiles endearingly to life and adds to the information presented in the text. This is information writing at its best with a passionate and informed author delighting the reader with new information dispensed in a manner guaranteed to entertain young audiences. One to read aloud to Early Years children as well as KS1 and a book I can see being eagerly revisited by children who will be keen to read the rest of the series.