Snake and Lizard are two close ‘friends’ with very different ways of dealing with daily situations. Their first meeting is rather antagonistic. One would refer to their relationship as ‘oil and water’. Snake has stretched herself across a path that she ‘knows’ will soon be used by Lizard. One would expect a confrontation, but the chapter title,” Heads and Tails” suggests something different. Do they flip a coin to decide who gets the path? Actually there’s a lively discussion about where the head ends and tail begins. But, this initial meeting sets the tone for the following chapters.
One of my favorite parts is ‘The Picnic’. Snake is ‘grossed out’ by Lizard’s food choices and table manners. Lizard, too, is repulsed by the way Snake gobbles up nine whole eggs…”I can see the shape of the eggs through your skin!” They worked out their food issues amicably. They decided to eat with their backs to each other.
Each illustration is a work of art in itself consisting of warm desert shades against creamy paper. The background is filled with plants and animals indigenous to the arid habitat.
This book is reminiscent of ‘George and Martha’ and ‘Frog and Toad’ who are irritated with each other due to differences, but learn to work their way through these issues, and eventually become loyal friends.
Snake and Lizard’s friendship demonstrates that a prerequisite to friendship is not necessarily agreeing on everything…we learn to appreciate the differences and handle uncomfortable situations with kindness and diplomacy.
Recommended by Lisa Romans, Librarian
Why do Snake and Lizard argue about the best place to lie in the sun? Isn’t the desert full of sunny spots? Of course it is, so the two animals become friends, despite their differences, and their worlds become a bit larger with each adventure that they share.
Snake thinks that Lizard is crazy for venturing out at night, while Lizard wonders why Snake won’t be cheered up by his sympathetic conversation. They criticize one another’s “table manners” on their picnic at the chicken farm (much to the alarm of the chickens!), but their friendship endures through one funny episode after another.
Watch out for the River of Death, and remember that helpers sometimes need help, too. Of course, even the best of friends don’t share every secret with each other – you’ll be surprised at some of them…
Each desert Southwest critter and landscape has its own personality, thanks to a talented New Zealand author-artist collaboration. For youngsters who enjoy reading-between-the-lines, this 85 page collection of top-notch stories will end all too soon!
Recommended by: Katy Manck, Librarian-at-Large (retired academic/corporate/school librarian), Gilmer, Texas, USA