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Children's LiteratureIn an exchange of letters that are sure to bring smiles to both parents and kids, Alex tries to persuade his mother to allow him to keep his friend Mikey's baby iguana as a pet after Mikey moves. The arguments go back and forth. Alex extols its cuteness and promises to care for the iguana, while his mother counters with how the cuteness won't last as the iguana grows to six feet in length, impossible to keep in his room. She also reminds him of his previous carelessness with pets. All the exchanges ring true to the situation. Finally Alex accepts his mother's offer of a "trial basis" to see if he can keep the promises he has made. The bliss on his face as he finds the iguana in his room make it evident how happy he is that his persistence has been rewarded. Catrow clearly has fun depicting in watercolors with pencil the scenes illustrating Alex's current desires, like sharing his bath with the iguana, as well as the future realities, like what to do with the full-grown pet. His cartoon-like characters express their emotions with exaggerated gestures sure to set off giggles. And pear-shaped Alex with his soulful eyes and wispy hair would make a really huggable doll. 2004, GP Putnam's Sons, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz