Chet Gecko, 4th grade lizard private eye, can’t resist a mystery. He asks questions wherever he goes. “…if Number 2 pencils are so popular why are they still Number 2?” But on this day, a mystery lands at his feet where he least expects it, in his school library. The school principal and a mysterious Russian guest unveil an amazing machine, the Bibliomalgamator that will do all the work in the library. Tell it what you like to read and the machine spits out a book right into your hands. This means Chet’s favorite teacher, the school librarian Cool Beans, is out of a job. Then things really get weird when the class teacher’s pet starts disrupting class and shouting things like “Make Me, Teach!” Kindergartners are beating up sixth graders and Chet’s best friend suddenly won’t talk to him anymore. There are too many mysteries to count, but as always, Chet is on the case. Author: Bruce Hale
Nic Bishop, who also wrote Nic Bishop Spiders and Nic Bishop Frogs, has now turned his camera lens toward butterflies and moths. He continues to capture really amazing pictures of animals. You really have to see the rain forest caterpillar on page 16. When it’s scared, it flips its upper body over and puffs up its head so that it looks exactly like a poisonous snake – really. If you didn’t know it was a caterpillar you’d never guess.
The Komodo Dragon is the largest living species of lizard. These lizards can grow to be 6-10 feet long! The Komodo Dragon lives on islands in Indonesia. People in Indonesia call them “land crocodiles.” Nothing on the islands preys on Komodo Dragons, so they can grow BIG and LONG. And if that isn’t impressive enough, they have teeth like sharks and poisonous spit! You can get an up close look at them all summer at the Indianapolis Zoo. (Keep your fingers out of the cage, though, OK?!) The exhibit, called Dragons of Komodo, opens today, May 23, 2009 and will stay until September 7, 2009.
If it’s possible, this might just be too much information about frogs…but that’s not possible, right? This book has the information and really stellar photos too. In it, you can learn about the Australian Spadefoot Toad that survives when it’s dry by digging down into the ground where there is moisture. It can stay buried for months…even years! When it rains, hundreds of these guys can pop out of the ground at once. And here’s a survival tip the next time you get caught unprepared in the outback – the indigenous people of Australia know how to find these frogs and gently squeeze them for a drink. Mmmmm. Then they let them go of course. I think gently is a really important word in those directions! Author: Nic Bishop
Despereaux is a lovable big-eared underdog, um, mouse. When he’s born, he’s too small and his ears are too big and his eyes are weird. He’s so puny no one thinks he will even live. Even his own mother describes him as a disappointment. Now that’s sad. And as he grows, he’s just not good at being a mouse, but he’s got dreams, big ones. Go see the movie (opens Dec. 19), sure, but don’t miss the book, Despereaux might be tiny but he’s one mighty mouse. Author: Kate DiCamillo