Alligator Boy by Cynthia Rylant, Diane Goode |, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Alligator Boy
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Alligator Boy

by Cynthia Rylant, Diane Goode
     
 

A boy is just plain tired of being a boy. So, he becomes an alligator--and it suits him just fine! His worried mother is comforted by the vet, who reassures her that all will be well, as long as the young alligator boy continues to attend school, of course. Whether scaring the class bully with his commanding grin or singing from his impressive snout in the

Overview


A boy is just plain tired of being a boy. So, he becomes an alligator--and it suits him just fine! His worried mother is comforted by the vet, who reassures her that all will be well, as long as the young alligator boy continues to attend school, of course. Whether scaring the class bully with his commanding grin or singing from his impressive snout in the choir, this brand-new lizard is ready to live his life with great green gusto. 
    
With Cynthia Rylant's buoyant rhyming text and Diane Goode's irresistible illustrations, this inspired celebration of the power of a child's imagination is full of whimsical details and reptilian glee. 

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
In terse, bouncy verse, Rylant tells a story that may be tongue-in-cheek, and so must be taken with at least a grain of salt. A boy who is "tired of being a boy" and "hoped to be somebody new" is happy to receive, as a gift from his aunt, a head and tail which, when put on, help him become "quite a fine alligator." His father seems to accept this transformation, perhaps because the illustrations portray the boy inside. But his upset mother must be reassured by a veterinarian before she sends him off to school. There he cheerfully engages in all the usual activities while enjoying the chance to frighten the bullies. At home, he is still happy to sit in his mother's lap. Goode requires only the minimum of props to produce a delightfully imaginative sequence of drawings "in line" with watercolors and gouache providing the particulars that the very succinct rhymes ignore. Somehow, she manages to make us believe in this boy/reptile as he goes about playing the piano or singing. In the final scene of togetherness, we are convinced of the satisfying appropriateness of the supposed transformation. Lift the jacket to enjoy the contrasting cover.
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2
Inspired by a trip to a natural history museum, a boy decides he wants to be an alligator, and his aunt obliges by sending him an alligator head and tail, which he immediately dons. His worried mother calls the vet, who assures her that "It looks well." Both parents take their son's new look in stride and send him off to school where he can at last scare off a bully. On a return visit to the museum with his class, the boy faces his stuffed idol with obvious delight. Goode's watercolor and gouache cartoon vignettes on white ground are reminiscent of the artist's other work in which she evokes a former time. Mother visits the museum wearing a hat and long dress; the teacher is in a belted suit; and the students, one in a wheelchair, wear short pants and dresses. The protagonist's alligator head reflects his mood, exhibiting gleeful laughter as the bully runs away and restful contentment as he snuggles in his mother's lap. Unfortunately, this charming story is marred by an awkward rhyme scheme: "She asked a good doctor to come and to see/this boy who could not a boy now be." Still, any youngster who has ever wanted to assume more power than childhood allows will delight in the "good green life" that alligator boy enjoys.
—Marianne SaccardiCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
In rhyming couplets, Rylant expertly unfolds a quirky tale about a boy who is "tired of being a boy" and "hope[s] to be somebody new." He gets his wish when a package with an alligator suit arrives on his doorstep. Rylant's elegant writing and understated humor are matched perfectly by Goode's watercolor illustrations. Goode's generous use of white space focuses our attention on the characters that she imbues with copious charm and personality. The witty language and engaging, dynamic pictures, as well as the warmly nostalgic atmosphere, will attract parents and children alike. What's more, its whimsy and fancy extend to the final page: The alligator boy does not have a change of heart and decide to turn back into a boy. Neither is the story revealed to have taken place in his imagination or his dreams. Instead, Rylant and Goode close the story with a picture of their main character asleep on his mother's lap, his alligator tail hanging down from the chair, and the reassuring message that his is "a good green life for an alligator boy." (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780152060923
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
06/01/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
11.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.34(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


CYNTHIA RYLANT is the acclaimed author of more than a hundred books for young people, and her novel Missing May received the Newbery Medal. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

DIANE GOODE has illustrated more than forty picture books, including The Story of the Nutcracker Ballet by Deborah Hautzig, which has sold more than a million and a half copies, and the Caldecott Honor Book When I Was Young in the Mountains, also written by Cynthia Rylant. She lives in Watchung, New Jersey.

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