Joy Cowley is a much-loved, multi-award-winning New Zealand author of more than 600 titles. She is famous in the United States as the author of the Mrs Wishy-Washy series, which has sold over 40 million copies. Three of her novels, The Silent One, Bow Down Shadrach, and Hunter, have won Children's Book of the Year awards in New Zealand; Ticket to the Sky Dance and Starbright and the Dream Eater won junior fiction awards two years running. Joy has been awarded the OBE for her services to children's writing. When not travelling the world, Joy spends her time between Wellington and the Marlborough Sounds.
K-Gr 4-This engaging chapter book from Australia tells of the humorous exploits of Snake and Lizard. They meet, quarrel, become friends, and then quarrel again; their delightful antics touchingly reveal the normal travails of an active friendship. The short chapters also impart bits of wisdom: it is good to share, and friends can like different things. In one particularly funny vignette, Snake is eating a frog when Lizard, who thinks that Snake is choking, slaps her on the back, and, of course, allows the frog to escape. Another entertaining story describes how the two friends each set up a business, and then trade the same dime back and forth buying corn cakes and cactus juice from one another. The charming illustrations are suffused with warm desert colors, and the evocative landscapes enhance the brief adventures. One endearing picture shows the red, black, and white striped snake and tan-colored lizard lying facing one another, their features expressively genial, as they "talked and talked as though they'd known each other for years." Lovely bookmaking includes small pictures interspersed with the large, bold font, some to the side of a decorative letter that begins the text of a chapter. A creamy white page with only a tiny picture of a primary story element precedes each chapter, and many of the creatures that inhabit the stories appear on the inside front and back cover pages. A great read-aloud.-Kirsten Cutler, Sonoma County Library, CA Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.