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Children's Nonfiction Chapter Books

How to Promenade with a Python (and Not Get Eaten)

A Polite Predators Book

by (author) Rachel Poliquin

illustrated by Kathryn Durst

Initial publish date
Feb 2021
Chapter Books, General, Reptiles & Amphibians
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2021
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2022
    List Price

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Where to buy it

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 6 to 9
  • Grade: 1 to 4


In this hilarious non-fiction chapter book series, a savvy cockroach shares wise tips and tricks to surviving an encounter with a charming predator who may (or may not) want to be your friend.

Celeste is a cockroach, and everyone knows that cockroaches are survivors, so who better to give advice on surviving an encounter with a polite predator? Everyone also knows that taking a moonlit promenade with a deadly reticulated python (named Frank) is a very bad idea. But Celeste loves very bad ideas, and she is willing to put your life on the line to prove herself right! Need to stop a python from swallowing you head-first? Wear a lamp shade as a hat! Want to speed up a three-hundred-pound snake? Try roller skates! What's the perfect light snack for a python? A chicken! Using her superior pythonine knowledge, Celeste comes up with various strategies and solutions -- many dangerous, most absurd, but all based on the biology of pythons. Meanwhile, Frank is hatching his own plans.

Rachel Poliquin has created a delightfully preposterous premise that, combined with Kathryn Durst's hilarious illustrations, will have readers laughing out loud as they learn about python biology and hunting behavior.

About the authors

Rachel Poliquin écrit surtout sur les animaux. Elle aime particulièrement célébrer les héros inattendus, ceux qui sont bossus, modestes et tranquillement extraordinaires. Elle est l’autrice des séries Superpower Field Guide et Polite Predators, ainsi que de The Strangest Thing in the Sea. Elle vit à Vancouver, en Colombie-Britannique, avec son mari et ses trois enfants.

Rachel Poliquin's profile page

Kathryn Durst grew up in Peterborough, Canada, and has been drawing ever since she could hold a pencil. She has a passion for children's illustration. She works in a variety of styles, using both traditional and digital mediums. Her art has been described as charming, whimsical, expressive, and full of life.

Kathryn attended Sheridan College for the Bachelor of Applied Arts 2D Animation Program. In her third year, she completed her internship at Pixar Animation Studios for storyboarding. She also works as an animator, filmmaker, and puppeteer. Kathryn also loves dancing, sewing, sculpting, playing accordion, cooking, and hanging out with her mini dachshund, Chili Dog. She is based in Toronto.

Kathryn Durst's profile page


  • Winner, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award

Editorial Reviews

One of Canadian Children's Book Centre's Best Books for Kids and Teens, Fall 2021

“Durst's digitally finished crayon pencil pictures are appropriately lively and goofy, and her naïve anatomical graphs are equally comical and effective. Try this at storytime, when it’s likely to please both snake-lovers and snake-haters.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Rachel Poliquin has given Celeste a chatty voice that keeps the facts-filled text from sounding pedantic, and Kathryn Durst . . . extends it with her comically funny depiction of the characters and their actions.” —Montreal Gazette
“A clever and entertaining approach to discovering the pertinent factual aspects of pythons while enjoying a goofy, easy-to-read story.” —CM Magazine

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