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LIZARDS by Margery Facklam


Weird and Wonderful

by Margery Facklam & illustrated by Alan Male

Age Range: 7 - 12

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-316-17346-0
Publisher: Little, Brown

Which lizard is strong enough to kill a horse? Walks on water? Squirts blood from its eyes to scare predators? Is poison? Tastes good roasted over an open fire? The author of Spiders and Their Web Sites (2001) has a super sequel in this look at 13 unusual lizards from around the world. She describes each lizard in a two-page layout, the text accompanied by a dramatic full-color portrait of the animal in its habitat. She includes the chuckwalla, marine iguana, basilisk, gecko, and flying dragon, among others. The text is full of fascinating details, and the portraits are handsome enough for display. This will serve as a first browser since scientific names, ranges, and sizes are not given, but it’s definitely an introduction to stir the imagination of young science enthusiasts and older reluctant readers. Facklam concludes with a section on how to tell the difference—or try to—between a snake, a lizard, and a salamander. After a comparison chart of the three, she quotes naturalist John Hanson Mitchell: “If you can catch it, it is a salamander, if you can’t it’s a lizard.” Don’t let this title get away; you’ll need more than one. (Nonfiction. 7-12)