Amphibiana: Warty Toads
If your child loves any kinds of amphibians or reptiles, or you’re simply looking for a great series of books to help supplement your science learning, the Amphibiana series from Bearport Publishing might be right up your alley. This interesting and fun-to-read series includes books such as Amazing Water Frogs, Slimy Salamanders, and Little Newts. Other titles in the series include Tricky Tree Frogs, Leaping Ground Frogs, and the book my daughter and I just finished, Warty Toads.
We have been looking into getting a fire-bellied toad—I had a few as a child, but I honestly can’t remember much about their care—after receiving a free aquarium from my aunt, and I thought this book might help us better understand the animal as well as toads in general. My daughter and I just made a few toad homes in our yard out of broken flower pots we had around (we painted them and put them on their sides, filling them up part-way with a bit of soil), so we might even spot some of the toads we’ve seen in the book.Warty Toads is filled with actual photos of toads, which really helps with the descriptions and identification of the animals. There’s everything from lore of toads (such as the fact that people once thought a toad bone could protect them from an angry dog—or that the toad itself had the magical ability to silence a noisy room!) to myths debunked (no, toads do not cause warts), the differences between frogs and toads (toads are a type of frog), and where you can find toads all over the world in the wild (which is just about everywhere).
We weren’t disappointed with the different types of toads, either. There was this really blobbly looking toad called the spadefoot toad, a neat toad with spikes on his sides known as the crested forest toad, and super cute golden toad. Several neat toad defense mechanisms, such as the secretion of poison and the puffing up to scare a snake away—which made a common toad seem as if he were walking!—were also displayed.
Unfortunately we did not learn more about the fire-belly toad, but we did get to see toad eggs, tadpoles, toad legends, and all kinds of other interesting information, which was just as cool. Any animal loving kid would definitely enjoy this book, and there is plenty to both learn and enjoy from its pages.