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There has been a SWITCH. In the first season of these books, it was Josh and not Danny who preferred to turn into other animals, even though they were mostly creepy-crawlies and bugs. Josh likes that kind of animal, as much as all wildlife, and however many times they nearly got eaten, or ate something revolting themselves, or suffered loss of control of their brain, or did something slimey and disgusting, or even changed sex, Josh was more up for it. Here, however, Danny is more keen - now the science has evolved so they can become reptiles, he can't wait to be a cool-dude alligator. In the second book here, CHAMELEON CHAOS, they both want to turn, partly inspired by some school bullies. But who is in the background, forcing them to turn by dropping mysterious clues and pulling all their strings?

Lizard Loopy by Ali Sparkes

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: The first of another six books in this series of adventures for the young, this time with the heroes being turned into reptiles and similar creatures for our entertainment.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 128 Date: February 2012
Publisher: OUP
ISBN: 9780192732361

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The first batch of titles had a similar structure - each book saw the lads become an animal, and while we learnt how gross or weird it might be, through the author's punchy yet evocative writing, they just *had* to find a glass cube that their neighbourhood science freak, Petty Potts, needed to restore her knowledge. This series ramps that up a little - so much so that by book three, TURTLE TERROR, there seems no end to the unknown protagonist's power in compelling Josh and Danny to use the SWITCH sprays and change nature. But there is still a simple finding-things routine to follow.

The first block of volumes, for me, started off great, and had a couple of weaker titles nearer the end. This time, we start off fine, have a couple of average moments, and build to the end. Chameleon Chaos almost seems disposable in the over-arching scheme of things; GECKO GLADIATOR, book four, has little to further things either, but is very droll with Sparkes' inventive way of picking up gender foibles in the young and spinning fun fantasy from them, as the twins get stuck in a hellish nightmare of pink girls - who are far more vicious than their bug-eat-bug world ever was.

ANACONDA ADVENTURE, title five, has too many pages given to recap at the beginning, as is needed when building an ongoing adventure saga for primary school children, but still manages the most gung-ho action and a jungle trial for one lead character. And come the end, with ALLIGATOR ACTION, we reach this series' Bad Wolf Bay, as a lot has to be revealed, and not one, not two but three transformations are made by our boys.

Overall then we have little in the way of fine literature, but still the rainbow-coloured shelf of the reluctant reader's Sparkes section should still grow with this series. She has a fine way with words, plot and vividly created character, and it's not just the alligators here who are snappy. The dropping of clues is self-evident for the adult peruser, but the target audience is still bound to enjoy a lot of this franchise. I think that currently the future of it is unknown, as regards a third dose of drama, and perhaps a dozen and more of these books are a bit too many already, given their basic, similar structure, but for now their current success is most evident.

The whole idea started with book one - Spider Stampede.

Ali Sparkes S.W.I.T.C.H series in Chronological Order

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