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Private I. Guana: The Case of the Missing…
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Private I. Guana: The Case of the Missing Chameleon

by Nina Laden

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I thought this book was fun to read. It was very well written. The book was full of alliterations, puns, and the whole book revolved a rounded the central tropic of reptiles and amphibians. So all the character names related back the kind of reptile they were. So we had Liz the lizard, Leon the chameleon, Officer Croaker the bullfrog, Sally the salamander and many more. The whole book even the setting followed along with the central topic. Throughout the book there were a bunch of alliterations. For example, "A sweet salamander sashayed over to my table." Another aspect of story that i liked was that author gave the main character such a strong personality. He was confident, smart, sly, a little shady, but what private investigator isn't. His personality was believable so as a reader one felt conformable following him through his investigation. I think you could use this book with an older audience as well, but focus on the topic of reptiles and amphibians, while with a younger audience focus on the alliterations and the use of adjectives. I feel as though this book could be used effectively for a range of grades. The other topic that one could address with this book is transsexualism. Which is yet another topic that is for the more mature readers. The message that this book shares is to be yourself and be proud of who you are; don't worry about trying to blend in all the time. ( )
  KLCLCL15 | Oct 5, 2015 |
Use for teaching Mystery Genres.
  cswetland | Jul 31, 2015 |
Review: The illustrations were very vivid and colorful. There are many play on words in this book which keeps children interested. It was very funny and enjoyable to read.

Summary: Private I. Guana is a private investigator. Liz, a chameleon, asked if he could help find her husband, Leon, who has been missing. Liz said that Leon was boring. Private I. Guana went looking for him in the forest and asked all of the animals if they had seen him but eventually gave up. He went to a local bar that was having a show that night. When he gets there he went backstage to meet the performer, Camille. He handed Camille a picture of Leon so that she could sign it. Camille confesses that he wanted his wife to know that he was actually talented. The I stands for "Ill be waiting."

Argument: I really enjoyed reading this book. It was funny and very cute. I was a little confused at the end when the girl ended up being a guy, but I think it was to teach children a lesson about transsexuality.

The moral of this story is to teach children that not everything happens the way you think it will. In the book Private I. was looking for Liz's husband Ivan. Throughout the story he was looking for a male, when the whole time Ivan was dressed up like a girl named Camille. This book secretly teaches children about transexuals without actually saying it. ( )
  knold1 | Oct 14, 2014 |
Nina Laden’s Private I. Guana: The Case of the Missing Chameleon is a very amusing take off of 1940s private eye film noir detective stories. She is an author/illustrator who delightfully infuses her stories with visual and literary puns, and her books work on several levels. It is a story about private eye I. Guana and a case brought to him by Liz, a lizard who is trying to find her missing chameleon partner, Leon. I. Guana asks her “By the way, what color was he when you last saw him?” Along the way to solving the case, there is a bullfrog chief of police “who had a habit of jumping to conclusions,” and a fun place known as The Lizard Lounge where the detective comes across a singing sensation, Camille and the Gila Girls. This book could be used with high school students to illustrate visual puns, literary puns, humor, parodies, and homages to different film genres. The fact that Camille turns out to be Leon lends a transgender dimension to the story that probably was not intended when it was published in 1995, but provides another amusing way the book can be used with high school students. I. Guana came before two of my favorite children’s books, When Pigasso Met Mootisse and Roberto the Insect Architect. Reading it recently after spending years teaching with her other books renewed my appreciation for this author/illustrator. Target audience is K through adult. ( )
  karenamorg | May 20, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0811824632, Paperback)

Leon the chameleon is missing! But ace detective Private I. Guana is on the case.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Private detective I. Guana is hired to search the forest for Leon, a missing chameleon.

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