Joy Cowley; Gavin Bishop (Illustrator)
Though their first encounter ends with a heated argument when Lizard accuses Snake of blocking his path with her tail, they soon realize they like each other a lot. Through 15 delightful short stories, rich with dialogue and illustrated with diminutive pen and ink and watercolors on every other page, the two new friends learn to tolerate each other's differences in food likes, bad moods, and family secrets. There are people lessons we pick up from these two not-always-amiable reptiles: admitting fault, saying you're sorry, and helping others are just three. One of my favorites is "In the Garden" where Snake is afraid of the human lady there who screamed at him. Lizard chides him for hissing at her, saying, "Just remember that human things are creatures too, and all creatures need kindness." Snake says, "But human things give me the creeps." Snake tries to be kind, but it's no use. The garden woman screams at him again. What did he do that got her upset? He kissed her.
Themes : ANIMALS. BEST FRIENDS. FRIENDSHIP. SHORT STORIES.
CRITICS HAVE SAID
- Cowley carves developed characters through concise dialogue, as Snake often balances her primal reptilian instincts against her shy disposition, creating witty moments within each chapter.
- The author has carefully chosen situations that provide the reader with ways of applying the information to their own friendships. The book is well written, reader-friendly, and will appeal to both boys and girls. The illustrations are a plus and fit the text beautifully. This would be a great gift for a child.
IF YOU LOVE THIS BOOK, THEN TRY:
- Bash, Barbara. Desert Giant: The World of the Saguaro Cactus. Sierra Club, 1989.
- Baylor, Byrd. The Desert Is Theirs. Atheneum, 1975.
- Cannon, Janell. Verdi. Harcourt, 1997.
- Cronin, Doreen. Diary of a Fly. HarperCollins/Joanna Cotler, 2007. (And others in the Diary of a . . . series.)
- Florian, Douglas. Lizards, Frogs, and Polliwogs: Poems and Paintings. Harcourt, 2001.
- Guiberson, Brenda Z. Cactus Hotel. Henry Holt, 1991.
- Howe, James. Houndsley and Catina. Candlewick, 2006. (And others in the Houndsley and Catina series.)
- Jenkins, Emily. Toys Go Out: Being the Adventures of a Knowledgeable Stingray, a Toughy Little Buffalo, and Someone Called Plastic. Schwartz & Wade, 2006.
- Lobel, Arnold. Frog and Toad Are Friends. HarperCollins, 1970. (And others in the Frog and Toad series.)
- Maestro, Betsy. Take a Look at Snakes. Scholastic, 1992.