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HOLBROOK by Bonny Becker

HOLBROOK

A Lizard’s Tale

By Bonny Becker (Author) , Abby Carter (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 10

Pub Date: Nov. 13th, 2006
ISBN: 0-618-71458-8
Publisher: Clarion

An earnest message is weighed down by a predictable plot and flat characterization. Holbrook, a lizard with a passion for painting, leaves his desert home to enter an art contest. The trip to Golden City opens his eyes to a new world. But what seems like a stroke of luck leads to disaster. Befriended by Count Rumolde, a weasel with artistic ambitions, Holbrook finds himself confined and forced to create paintings for the tourist trade. He manages to free himself and comes up with a plan to rescue his fellow prisoners. Betrayed again, Holbrook plays on the creative desires of their intended executioner to save the day. Several characters are based on famous artists, including ballerina Margot Frogtayne and opera singer Enrico Escargot. The author’s note offers brief information about these and other inspirations, but it’s unlikely that they will have much resonance for children. The message that creativity should be valued and nourished is a worthy one, but given the utter lack of child appeal, it’s unlikely many readers will get that message here. (Fiction. 8-10)