A slim memoir about a Canadian couple and a tiny gecko.
In June 2015, in Stroud, Ontario, Mullen spotted what she thought was a toy crocodile on the floor of her garage. She believed that it was left there as a prank by the kids who lived next door; she briefly went inside her house, and when she returned to pick up the “toy,” it had vanished. Over the summer, she saw the lizard a few more times and figured out that it was real. Then, in October, just before Canadian Thanksgiving, Mullen saw the elusive reptile warming herself in the sun. Finally, she was able to capture the lizard, which had “a yellow body, flat head, adorable hands and feet, and a tail all dotted with black-and-white spots, which does not match the rest of the body.” Mullen and her best friend, Janette, secured the newfound pet in a plastic container, added some ladybugs and a saucer of water, and covered the top with a screen. The next morning, Mullen and her husband, Luigi, did some online research and discovered that they’d adopted a “leopard gecko.” Its natural habitat was “Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan,” and it definitely didn’t like ladybugs. Mullen named her Daisy, bought an aquarium, and set up a well-appointed new home for the lucky gecko, who wouldn’t have survived a Canadian winter outdoors. The brightly colored pages in this charming, short memoir, which each feature a large photo of a daisy, complement the general buoyancy of the prose. Mullen includes plenty of intriguing reptile facts, such as that the tails of geckos contain a store of nutrients that can help them survive during tough times; they can also detach their tails when they’re frightened; she also points out that the lizards can shed and eat their skin every two to three weeks. Indeed, the book could potentially serve as a basic primer on caring for geckos. The appealing narrative is suitable for all ages, but it may be particularly attractive to tweens and young teens. (Full-color photos included.)
A quick, pleasant distraction as well as an informative introduction to geckos.