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Reviewed by Gail Kamer for Readers' Favorite
Whoever heard of a lizard hatching from a stone? No Ordinary Lizard by Diane Owens is not just a simple tale of having a pet and then having to let go. It’s the story of an extraordinary lizard who is like no other lizard on Earth. Of course, being unusual it doesn’t eat normal lizard food. It eats cat food. And it’s not even nice to the cat. Poor kitty. The lizard ties silverware to the cat’s tail! This lizard changes colors with his moods and changing emotions. He learns to draw, read, and write. But since he’s no ordinary lizard, he is hunted. Who wants him and how does he escape? You’ll find out in this funny story about friendship.
I fell in love with Benson, the lizard in No Ordinary Lizard by Diane Owens. Written with children aged 8 to 10 in mind, the story is just like the title; no ordinary story. Diane Owens’ creativity with the idea and the many twists and turns in the book will keep all readers interested, even those who have a hard time conquering reading. I would also recommend it to younger children as a “listen to” book. In addition to imagining such a wonderful story, Ms. Owens has created a website which offers reading and writing connections for several grade levels but mainly third through fifth. The site offers content matched to common core for informative, opinion, and narrative writing. It also offers writing material for each chapter of No Ordinary Lizard. As a retired educator, I highly recommend both the book and the educational materials to teachers and parents. Both the book and the site are high quality. I fully expect No Ordinary Lizard will become as beloved a children's story as Charlotte's Web!