Green Lizards vs Red Rectangles by Steve Antony

War and peace – an ambitious topic for your ‘typical’ picture book audience. Green lizards battle red rectangles, absurd! I love it.

These equally matched armies are at deadlock, neither can conquer the other. One brave individual from the green lizards asks, “What are we fighting for?” But his answer comes in the form of a crushing blow from a red rectangle and he dies a squished martyr of peace.

Following this, there is a tremendous battle, the biggest yet. Then, gallantly, a small red rectangle calls across the battlefield, demanding “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!”

Both sides, battle weary and tired, agree to find a solution in which they can coexist peacefully. Steve Antony’s resolution to this is illustrated with a stroke of genius. And quite brilliantly, we (the reader) never discover why they were fighting in the first place.

Steve Antony creates remarkable compositions, using only two colours and two graphic elements, to demonstrate the chaos of war. The juxtaposition of his hand drawn lizards besides the geometrical shapes is an appealing and surreal contrast.

I’m excited to use this in the classroom, as a starting point for discussion with my year 6 students.

I bow down to the brilliance of this book. Speechless!

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