I have always been partial to skinks. Partly it's because I think "skink" is fun to say, especially if you say "skeeenk." Partly it's because there are skinks at my parents' house, so they remind me of my happy childhood (and reasonably happy young adulthood, and happy trips down there with my own kids). Little Skink's Tail, by Janet Halfmann, illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein (2007, Sylvan Dell Publishing), is the cutest skink picture book I have ever read (it is also the only skink book I've ever read, but still it's darn cute).
It begins in a fairly typical "picture book about wild animal" style--the little skink is basking on a rock, ready to start her day. Then--Danger! A hungry crow swoops down! Will little skink be the crow's breakfast? No! Thanks to her detachable tail, which goes "wriggling wildly through the fallen leaves," little skink is safe. But now she is tail-less, and she misses her pretty blue tail.
So she daydreams--how would she look with a tail like a bunny? Like a squirrel? Like a deer? and so on. And a little skink looks absolutely adorable with all these tails (these are very funny illustrations), but no tail is as good as her own....
And in the end, it grows back.
After the story, as a bonus feature, there are a few activity pages that held the interest of my now eight year old.
This a great read aloud, and a great book to savour quietly.
More non-fiction books can be found at Non-fiction Monday, over at Picture Book of the Day.