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by Joy Cowley & illustrated by Gavin Bishop

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-933605-83-8
Publisher: Kane/Miller

A sensitive snake and her lovable lizard companion enjoy a warm and touching relationship, shattering the stereotypes that commonly plague their cold-blooded species. The two become fast friends, first as housemates and later as business partners counseling fellow desert-dwellers on life and love. 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. Snake did, after all, eat one of Lizard’s 97 siblings in her past: “Lizard was right,” she reflects. “The little guy had been real sweet.” She shudders, however, at the thought of addressing a baby rattler. “You know all about snakes. It’s your cousin!” protests Lizard. “Some cousins I don’t speak to,” Snake exclaims. Bishop’s rich watercolor-and-pen illustrations complement the story, often portraying Lizard upright next to slithering Snake. His contained lines and splashes of color breathe air into the setting’s dry surroundings. The New Zealand author-and-illustrator team solidly develops this pair’s formidable friendship under the scorching desert sun. (Fiction. 7-10)