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Nic Bishop: Lizards Hardcover – October 1, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5–There's not much to say that hasn't already been said about the high caliber of Bishop's work, and this book is no exception. The photographs capture a variety of lizards in startling detail. Information is presented in much the same format as Butterflies and Moths (2009), Spiders (2007), and Frogs (2008, all Scholastic). A key sentence written in a larger font and different color is set off from the rest of the text on the page. Basic facts about the various lizards are simple to understand, yet written in a voice that draws readers into another world where geckos wriggle out of their skin and flying dragons glide from tree to tree. Endnotes help readers appreciate the amount of work and time that Bishop spent on each photograph and researching his information, particularly for the thorny devil, bearded-dragon hatchlings, and the basilisk, which is photographed literally running on water. Another amazing must-have title.Cathie Bashaw Morton, Millbrook Central School District, NY
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
*Starred Review* As in Bishop’s earlier volumes on spiders, frogs, marsupials, and butterflies and moths, his remarkable color photos will initially draw readers to the book. But the succinct text is equally riveting as it explores the surprisingly varied world of lizards, from the tiny dwarf gecko, “small enough to curl up on your thumbnail,” to the Komodo dragon, “the world’s largest venomous animal.” A typical double-page spread includes a couple of paragraphs of information, an exceptionally clear photo, and an informative caption, which includes the degree of image magnification for animals shown larger than actual size. Standout illustrations include a three-image photo of a basilisk sprinting on two legs across the surface of water and a shot of a chameleon, its sticky tongue extended longer than its body, zapping up a cricket. Bishop, who has a doctorate in biological sciences, writes clearly, presenting his subject without anthropomorphism but with empathy. The book’s back matter includes a short recommended-reading list, a brief glossary, and a two-page author’s note on his experiences photographing lizards for the book, from the rare thorny devil found in a remote Australian desert to the basilisk, for which he built a “rain forest pond” in his home. Captivating. Grades 2-4. --Carolyn Phelan
Top customer reviews
HE OWNS A LIZARD AND HE GOT EXCITED ABOUT INFO ON SO MANY OTHER LIZARDS.
THE PICTURES ARE SO NICE, EACH COULD BE HUNG ON HIS WALL OR FRAMED.
Bishop's book has plenty of information about lizards in general, star species such as the camouflaging chameleons and walk-on-water Basilisks, and some species you've probably never heard of, but really should. Like the rest, this book is painstakingly researched and photographed. The text is wonderful, and the "behind the scenes" notes he puts on the end are like icing to a delicious (yet surprisingly good for you) cake.
Yes, I'm gushing about this book and its author. It's big enough and pretty enough to be a coffee table book, but with the superior writing style of a great children's author. With its great balance of detail and clarity (and, I can't say it enough -- amazing pictures), it's a great choice for any kid who gigs reptiles. Adults will learn something, too.