Ruskin Splinter is small and thin, with knock-knees, thick glasses and a squeaky voice, and the idea of him taming a dragon makes the whole class laugh. Big, strong Elvis is stupid but he looks like a hero. So who is more likely to get the big part in the school play? But when the mysterious beast, Krindlekrax, threatens Lizard Street and everyone ...
Ruskin Splinter is small and thin, with knock-knees, thick glasses and a squeaky voice, and the idea of him taming a dragon makes the whole class laugh. Big, strong Elvis is stupid but he looks like a hero. So who is more likely to get the big part in the school play? But when the mysterious beast, Krindlekrax, threatens Lizard Street and everyone who lives there, it is Ruskin who saves the day and proves he is the stuff that heros are made of after all.
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Illustrated by Robertson, Mark. Very good in fine dust jacket. Weird and wonderful characters of Lizard Street. B/w illustrations. Name in ink to front endpaper. Smarties Book Prize Winner sticker to front of jacket. [S]
Publishers Weekly, 1991-12-20 As zany as Ridley's Dakota of the White Flats , this novel by the winner of England's 1991 Smarties Book Prize introduces the inhabitants of Lizard Street, a gaggle of unconventional characters whose lives are intertwined. Thin, redheaded Rushkin Splinter, the epitome of wimpdom, is the protagonist; other cast members include his petite mother, forever offering toast and tea; Mr. Splinter, a woeful ex-zookeeper; kindhearted Corky, the school custodian; and a window-smashing bully named Elvis. As events unfold, Rushkin learns how his parents and most of his neighbors played a part in producing Krindlekrax, a monster that lurks beneath Lizard Street. Determined to avenge past wrongs and save his neighborhood from destruction, Rushkin sets out to tame the beast. By the end of his mission, the lad proves that even a weakling can become a hero. More enjoyable than the novel's rather obvious theme is Ridley's spirited telling. His invention of a young Don Quixote is sure to tickle the fancy of comic-adventure buffs. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
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