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*Skink on the Brink* by Lisa Dalrymple, illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo
Also illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo:

Gerbil, Uncurled (Tell Me More Storybook)
Skink on the Brink
by Lisa Dalrymple, illustrated by Suzanne Del Rizzo
Ages 5+ 32 pages Fitzhenry and Whiteside June 2013 Hardcover    

“Stewie was a very little skink with a very blue tail.”
Stewie is happy in his forest home—but one day, a hungry weasel pounces on his beautiful blue tale, and it pops off! He gets away because his tale is a “smart tool” which will grow back once again.

When the tale grows back, it is grey. Stewie has also grown, but he doesn’t feel special anymore because he has lost his blue tail. To make himself feel better, he starts to search for a brand new spot to live. While on his journey of discovery, a woodpecker tells him to take a look at his head in the water because it is now fabulously red! Stewie is once more proud of himself and decides to return to his own habitat because it is “just right” for Stewie the Skink!

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this picture book is the introduction of an unusual animal facing extinction. How many readers will know what a skink is? This picture book not only teaches them about skinks, it also discusses forest habitats, endangered species, and protecting the environment. There is a wonderful section at the back of the book which gives readers information about specific topics as well as instructions for “How to Make Stewie” and “Skink-Tail Tag.”

Lisa Dalrymple has written an appealing picture book with a very strange character—Stewie the Skink. Readers will be fascinated by the adventures of the tiny forest animal. The plasticine illustrations by Suzanne DelRizzo are marvelous, full of vibrant colors, movement and great details which display the forest environment, skink behavior and predators.

This picture book is a wonderful read-aloud because of its elements of rhyme, rhythm and repetition. Parents and teachers will be able to use this book to discuss important topics such as endangered species, habitats, identity, self-esteem, and growing up.

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  Myra Junyk/2014 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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