Nic Bishop Lizards by Nic Bishop

71027615Lynn: Three words, Nic Bishop Lizards (Scholastic 2010).  I don’t suppose we really have to say anything more than that, but of course we will.  As you would expect, the photographs in this new book are stunning but they are stunning in a way that provides more than just a gorgeous picture.  Each photography reinforces the fascinating text and demonstrates the information provided.  The head-on shot of the Australian frilled lizard clearly shows its method of scaring away a predator and the leaf-tailed gecko models its leaf-patterned camouflage.  Bishop writes as well as he takes pictures and his language is lively and engaging.  “Lizards lead lives that are full of surprises,” says Bishop and he goes on to show us just how true that is.

I will admit to having a great fondness for lizards and our focus group totally shares that fascination.  A friend lent us this book and I’ve had trouble getting it away from them long enough to let Cindy read it.  As always one of my favorite parts of Bishop’s books are the author’s notes in the back about how he created these amazing photos.  For this book he even built a rain forest pool IN his house!  The focus group and I love all of Bishop’s books but this may be our favorite so far.

Cindy: Lanky Lizards! Nic Bishop has done it again. I would like to be a fly on the wall of his photography sessions, as long as I’m not a cricket placed in reach of a veiled chameleon’s tongue that could stretch almost a foot to capture me for dinner! If, like me, you are intrigued by his exquisite photography, you can read about the trials and process at Bishop’s website. It’s not all glamour–as a photo of him up to his waist in a muddy pool shows there. You can also read about his research process. I do feel a bit for his wife, who endured the building of a rain forest pool in their house, but the fold-out four-page spread of the basilisk lizard walking on water (at the speed of 20 steps per second to keep from sinking) was worth any stains on the carpet or inconvenience.

If you are in the habit of only giving fiction books for holiday gift giving, consider mixing it up this year. Lizards would make a great gift for many young readers…and I bet the adults in their lives will be checking it out too.

nonfictionmonday1Thanks to The Reading Tub for hosting this week’s Nonfiction Monday Blog Roundup where you can read about other stellar nonfiction children’s books.

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About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

4 Comments on "Nic Bishop Lizards by Nic Bishop"

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  1. Nature photography – especially animals – really intrigues me. I love that we get a ‘behind the scenes’ and not just the finished product. Thanks for stopping by the Tub today.

  2. c_spaghetti@yahoo.com' Susan T. says:

    Love this book! So does my 11 year old. Y’all are right: great gift for some kids (and their parents).

  3. ryanblackbooks@gmail.com' Ryan says:

    My six year old is getting into lizards, creepy crawlies and insects. I got her a copy of Jazz Fly 2: The Jungle Pachanga by Matthew Gollub, but I think that this will be a good addition to her bookshelf.

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