CM . . .
. Volume XX Number 6. . . .October 11, 2013
Skink on the Brink is the story of Stewie the Blue, an endangered five-lined skink. Stewie loves his blue tail and his warm, damp pond habitat. Stewie also loves to sing and make up rhymes. Stewie uses his tail to slither and climb, and it also protects him from predators as his tail will fall off if he is attacked! One day Stewie begins to notice that he is growing up and that with this change comes a tail that has turned grey. He feels less special with his new tail colour, and nothing in his world feels quite right anymore, and so Stewie goes exploring, hoping that a new environment might inspire him and make him feel like himself again. Eventually, he finds a new pond, but even there he feels out of place until a woodpecker points out Stewie's new special feature. He has a new red head, and he is endangered, making him even more special. The woodpecker's tapping even inspires Stewie to create a new rhyme, and he decides it is time to head back home where he settles on a new nickname and a new song that remind him how special he is.
There is a strong message in this book for readers about loving oneself but also accepting that one will change as one grows up. This change does not make anyone less special, but one may have to look a little harder to find what his or her new special qualities and features are. The story is not overly didactic though; instead, it is a warm, realistic expression of how a young person might feel when facing change s/he did not necessarily expect.
Carla Epp is a librarian with Winnipeg Public Library in Winnipeg, MB.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.