After a close encounter with a hungry bobcat, Little Lizard discovers that his tail is missing. "Where is it?" he wonders. He looks in his cozy hole and around his favorite rock, but it is not there. Little Lizard decides to ask the other forest animals for help. He asks those he thinks are without tails, such as a frog and grizzly bear, where they lost their tails. He also questions those with tails, such as a raccoon, a possum, a skunk, and a snake. Ultimately, it is an older lizard that lets the young one in on the secret of what happened to his tailand what will happen to it in the future. Little Lizard's anxiety about his tail, while comically told and drawn, mirrors the uncertainty many children feel when experiencing something new for the very first time. Observant readers will be reassured by the fact that, from the time it is lost until the end, the lizard's tail appears marginally longer in each illustration. 2005, Marshall Cavendish, Ages 4 to 8.
Heidi Hauser Green
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 1-Schafer's first foray into fiction writing doesn't match the quality of her nonfiction work. While searching for his lost appendage, Little Lizard encounters various forest animals with special tails of their own. At the story's end, he discovers that his tail will not only fall off if seized by an enemy but that it will also grow back. Facts overwhelm the thin plot, and the narrative is somewhat stilted. The final page has additional information on each of the animals' tails and what makes them unique. Cushman's use of browns, greens, and grays works well in depicting the forest world of Little Lizard. Alert readers can watch his tail growing as the story progresses toward its happy ending. Better books include Hana Machotka's Terrific Tails (Morrow, 1994; o.p.), Dorothy Hinshaw Patent's What Good Is a Tail? (Penguin, 1994), and Peg Hall's Whose Tail Is This? (Picture Window, 2004).-Catherine Callegari, San Antonio Public Library, TX Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.