Monday, June 2, 2008

New Zealand Book Award

Our first book from New Zealand, published originally by Gecko Press, has recently been honored with the New Zealand Post Best Children's Book of the Year award!

Congratulations to author Joy Cowley and illustrator Gavin Bishop for this great recognition. A collection of short stories about an unlikely pair, Snake and Lizard is a laugh-out-loud, sophisticated edition of tales (and tails) of friendship and life in the desert.

Snake and Lizard have much different tastes - especially when it comes to mealtime. In the story entitled, "Surprise," Lizard finds an egg "in the dust, smooth, white, and round as the moon," an egg which he feels is just perfect for Snake. He "carefully fitted his jaws around the egg and carried it back across the desert" to surprise his dear friend.

Hours later, when Snake finally arrives, Lizard is delighted to share his discovery with her and sends Snake down into the tunnel, where her surprise awaits.

Moments later, Snake shoots out of the hole, "hissing and shaking."

"The egg had hatched. No chicken had come out of it! There in Snake's bed, making a noise like a firecracker, was a very angry young rattlesnake."

After angry words between the two friends, Snake asks Lizard how he plans to get the rattlesnake's nearly bedtime.

" 'Don't look at me in that tone of voice!' snaps Lizard. 'You know all about snakes. It's your cousin. Go and talk to it!' "

Humorous, delightful and simply charming, these two characters are highly developed, spectacularly entertaining and completely memorable.

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