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Friends: Snake and Lizard

Friends: Snake and Lizard

by Joy Cowley

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 2–4—Unlikely friends Snake and Lizard are back in this story collection from New Zealand. The pair continue their adventures together, whether that means hunting for hard-to-get food, arguing over the fate of a spider living in their doorway, or continuing to provide "Helper" services to other animals. While some plotlines from Snake and Lizard (Kane/Miller, 2008) are brought up but not explained (such as the friends' role as "helpers"), for the most part, this book can stand alone. It includes more stories directly linked together, such as the selections about the attempts of the friends to put together a suitable memorial for Ear Bent, a rabbit killed while daring to take on the "monsters" that travel along the "River of Death." The book remains unflinchingly honest in its portrayal of the natural world. The matter-of-fact tone used to describe animals eating and being eaten, as well as descriptions of desert life, brings the setting to life for children. The thick, off-white pages and small illustrations in muted colors create a pleasant individual reading experience. With its more sophisticated subject matter, short chapters, and clever dialogue, it also make for a satisfying read-aloud.—Heather Talty, formerly at Columbia Grammar & Preparatory School, New York City
Kirkus Reviews

Here's to the continuation of one unlikely friendship.

In this New Zealand import, sequel toSnake and Lizard(2008), the reptilian buddies become impromptu advisors to their colorful, desert community (Snake and Lizard, Helper and Helper). The pair's natural instincts and sensitive egos can get in the way of their relationship—it doesn't help that Snake's sibling devours lizards for lunch or that Lizard's haughty demands pick apart Snake's poor manners. Lizard's bossy demeanor collides with Snake's vulnerable side (don't mention her late mother). Though misunderstandings temporarily cause friction, the friends rise above them. "Love is a word for friends to share. Don't you agree?" asks Lizard. Slightly macabre punchlines capture an amusing reality with unexpected charm, such as when Lizard's client (a mute frog) turns into Snake's tantalizing prey: "Snake curled her tail over the bulge in her stomach. He's croaked now, she thought..." The buddies' innovative use of language influences their sense of perspective; "human things" demonstrate their inferiority to the cold-blooded cohorts when seen to shed their "skin" before an outdoor dip, for instance. Rendered in rustic reds and muted tans, Bishop's watercolor-and-ink scenes grace the episodic chapters and add their own layer of humor.

Though a little dryer than in the first book, this duo's opinionated banter still packs a rib-tickling punch.(Animal fantasy. 7-10)

Product Details

Gecko Press
Publication date:
Gecko Press Titles Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
5 - 10 Years

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