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A solid choice for second- and third-grade readers, this novel relates the adventures of Edward Fraser, who first appeared as Jason's canine-impersonating younger brother in No Dogs Allowed (rev. 1/93). Based on the everyday experiences of ordinary children and employing the same sort of idiomatic gags that were sprinkled through the earlier book, the plot this time revolves around Edward's sighting of a baby alligator in the lake at the local park. His innocent comments are misconstrued and elaborated upon until the incident becomes a cause cèbre inviting TV cameras, animal rights activists, and a professional alligator catcher flown up from the Louisiana bayous. Edward gets caught up in the excitement, oblivious to the part he has played in triggering events. Not all children at the younger end of the book's target audience will get the point about the power of the word, just as they may not get the running joke (a tad overdone) about Edward's literal understanding of such idioms as a nose for news and the early bird gets the worm. But they will agree with Edward that the several comments on his "overactive imagination" are euphemisms for lying and will rejoice in his vindication at the end when the foot-long baby alligator that he has insisted all along he saw is discovered. An undemanding, light read with characters a notch or two above stereotypes. n.v.