To say that Richard Kerridge is fascinated by reptiles would be an understatement.
It is an obsession.
This obsession is one that he has had since childhood, from watching early wildlife programmes that showed all manner of animals from the exotic continent of Africa. Back then, he collected and caught all manner of small creatures and reptiles for the zoo that he had in his room and back garden. As he collected the frogs and toads, newts and lizards, grass snakes and even foolishly an added, it fuelled a desire to learn all about these animals. He is still asking questions about them today.
Kerridge has written a book that is partly a guide to these creatures, partly a journal about our relationship with nature and partly a personal memoir of his escapades with his friends and his tumultuous relationship with his father. It is packed to the gills with facts and details of these absorbing creatures, and thankfully is no less readable because of it. What he also brings to life is the differences between then and now. These days you cannot disturb a lot of the animals, let alone pick them up, without a licence from somewhere or other, that is if you can get a child away from a screen and outside to see them in their natural habitat. It is a well researched and written book, and what you most appreciate when reading this, is his enthusiasm for his cool subjects.