Private I.Guana

Private I.Guana : The Case of the Missing Chameleon

By (author) Nina Laden

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Leon the chameleon is missing! But ace detective Private I. Guana is on the case. He searches high (through the forest) and low (through the swamp), questioning bullfrogs and salamanders and tacking up posters (in a variety of colors, of course) along the way - until he unexpectedly stumbles across the solution to the mystery.

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  • Hardback | 32 pages
  • 251.46 x 259.08 x 10.16mm | 430.91g
  • 28 Mar 1996
  • CHRONICLE BOOKS
  • California
  • English
  • colour and b&w illustrations
  • 0811809404
  • 9780811809405

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Author Information

Nina Laden grew up in the New York City area. The daughter of two artists, she studied illustration at Syracuse University. She is the author and illustrator of The Night I Followed the Dog, also published by Chronicle Books.

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Review quote

--"AMERICAN BOOKSELLER, " Pick of the Lists, " August 1995 Ace detective Private I. Guana is on the case looking for the missing Leon (a chameleon). Written in a narrative style reminiscent of early detective films and television shows, this is a fun readaloud to be enjoyed by both younger and older listeners. Humorously bold illustrations perfectly complement the tongue-in-cheek telling of this exciting story. --"INSTRUCTOR MAGAZINE" Hard-boiled American mysteries may not boast the genteel qualities of their mannered British counterparts, but they have their own oddball charm, especially when the investigator is a gumshoe like Private I. Guana. Drawing inspiration from tough guy detectives such as Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade, this trench coat-clad iguana is hired by Liz Lizard to find her missing husband, Leon. He discovers Leon, disguised as Camille, singing with the Gila Girls, the house band at the slimy Lizard Lounge. The tone is tongue-in-cheek; the dark pastel illustrations wonderfully brooding; and even the typerwriter-like typeface puts you in the mood for mystery. There are suggestions for possible sequels as I. Guana ponders his next case. Have children make up and write these sequels or think up new cases for Private I. Guana to solve. --"SEATTLE POST-INTELIGENCER, " December 1995 In this witty sendup of hard-boiled fiction, a reptilian sleuth tracks the missing Leon the chameleon. "By the way," I. Guana asks his concerned client, "what color was he when you last saw him?" Full of word play, with squiggly, cartoonish pictures and an archaic typeface known as "manual typewriter."

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