Sunday, August 23, 2015

Book Review: It You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't! by Elise Parsley

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Delightful pictures and story
Cons: This section eaten by the alligator
The Bottom Line:
Take a fun premise
Mix in great story, pictures
Result?  This great book

Seriously, Wouldn’t an Alligator Make the Best Show and Tell Ever?

I was wandering in Barnes and Noble the other night when I spotted If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't! on a special display as the picture book of the month.  Well, with a title like that, I had to read the book.  It’s as delightful and fun as I expected.

The story follows Magnolia, who has come up with the best show and tell ever for nature day.  Instead of a hollow stick or a bird’s nest, she has brought in an alligator.  She promises her teacher that the alligator will behave and not eat anyone, but oh the trouble that he gets into – drawing funny pictures, making paper airplanes, and so on.  Will it be worth it in the end?

While there is definitely a main character and a name, the book is actually told in second person.  It’s not a narrative style you normally see, but it does seem to work here.  That means we become Magnolia as we read the book.

It also means it reminds me of the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie series.  No, this doesn’t have the logical steps and conclusions of those books, but you’ll definitely be reminded of them as you read this book.

Ultimately, what it comes down to is if this book is fun, and that I can answer with a resounding yes.  The premise has the potential for quite a bit of fun, and we actually get to see that played out as the story progresses.  No, the alligator never does anything too bad, and the trouble he gets into is just plain funny.

Adding to the fun story are the wonderful pictures.  There are reactions and jokes in those pictures you’ll definitely want to watch for.

This is a book that kids will want to read over and over again, and parents won’t mind in the least because it is so much fun.  Don’t hesitate.  Go out and get If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't! today.

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