If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!
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If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!

5.0 2
by Elise Parsley
     
 

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This unforgettable introduction to a charismatic kid heroine also marks the dazzling (and bestselling!) debut of an extraordinary new artistic talent!

Note to self: If your teacher tells you to bring something from nature for show-and-tell, she does not want you to bring an alligator! But nothing will stop Magnolia, who's determined to have the best

Overview

This unforgettable introduction to a charismatic kid heroine also marks the dazzling (and bestselling!) debut of an extraordinary new artistic talent!

Note to self: If your teacher tells you to bring something from nature for show-and-tell, she does not want you to bring an alligator! But nothing will stop Magnolia, who's determined to have the best show-and-tell of all—until her reptilian rapscallion starts getting her into some major trouble. Now it's up to Magnolia to find a way to send this troublemaker home—but what could possibly scare an alligator away?

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Maria Russo
Some adults may find it too familiar, but children are likely to get a kick out of Magnolia's not-quite-contrite tone and the colorful chaos her giant pet creates.
Publishers Weekly
05/25/2015
A shaggy-haired, moon-faced girl named Magnolia morphs from smug to seething in Parsley’s debut, a cautionary tale about the risks of bringing an alligator to school. In second-person narration à la If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, Magnolia explains how to defuse an unhappy teacher (“You’ll tell her that it’s okay and that you know all about alligators. The alligator will be good and quiet and he won’t eat anyone—cross your heart”), but the gator’s mischievous tendencies test the girl’s patience and threaten to land her in the principal’s office. (Eventually, Magnolia’s name ends up written on the classroom chalkboard with three checkmarks next to it “and an underline”!) Parsley’s digitally created illustrations brim with energy and just-edgy-enough humor (during math, a classmate is blissfully unaware how close he is to becoming the alligator’s next meal), and the well-chosen school-day details in both the artwork and text (“By now, of course, you’ll wish you brought a hollow stick or a bird’s nest or some sparkly rocks for show-and-tell”) deliver a steady stream of laughs. Ages 3–6. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (July)
From the Publisher
Praise for If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't!:
"Parsley's digitally created illustrations brim with energy and just-edgy-enough humor... and the well-chosen school-day details in both the artwork and text... deliver a steady stream of laughs."—Publishers Weekly

[It] revels in the rampage of the id-here in the form of a formidable and toothy crocodilian. Elise Parsley's jaunty second-person narration is matched by comically expressive...artwork that seems to shout from the page."—Wall Street Journal"

Children are likely to get a kick out of Magnolia's not-quite-contrite tone and the colorful chaos her giant pet creates."—New York Times "

This is an engaging debut picture book [that] will appeal to a wide age range. Here's hoping for more adventures with Magnolia!"—School Library Journal

School Library Journal
07/01/2015
K-Gr 2—Is Magnolia a rebel or natural leader? Readers will need to decide when this young avant-garde student brings an alligator to school for show and tell. In second person narration, readers are warned against bringing an alligator to school, as the text and illustrations use Magnolia and her mischievious alligator as examples of the havoc that such a creature can bring to a classroom setting. After the alligator chews gum in class, tries to eat a student, and shows funny pictures during the teacher's lesson, he is finally introduced during show and tell. When Magnolia reveals a surprising fact about alligators (they are only afraid of other alligators—and humans!), the troublesome creature makes a run for it. Magnolia, could be the sister of David, from David Shannon's picture book series, with her large round head, wide mouth, and wiry hair. Magnolia is as busy as the alligator and just as prone to tomfoolery. The endpapers continue the goofy fun. VERDICT This is an engaging debut picture book written in free verse will appeal to a wide age range. Here's hoping for more adventures with Magnolia!—Gwen Collier, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2015-10-06
Magnolia learns the hard way that an alligator is not a great item to bring for show and tell, and she wants readers to learn from her experience. While Magnolia's struggles with the alligator and his rambunctious behavior will be funny to kids, it's adults who have dealt with similar behavior from their own young charges who will chuckle loudest. First, the alligator makes Magnolia laugh during spelling by showing her the funny picture he's drawn. Her name goes on the board: last in line at lunch. She takes his crayons away. Then his origami paper airplane goes astray during art. The check next to Magnolia's name means no recess. She takes away the paper. Some gum distracts him from eating a classmate...but makes a mess nonetheless—two more checks and an underline mean a trip to the principal's office. Magnolia may be down, but she's not out: she has a trick up her sleeve that just might turn her day around. Or not. Parsley's digital illustrations are a riot, Magnolia's smug expression gradually changing to chagrin, anger, and outright terror as the alligator continues his shenanigans, none worse than what a toddler dishes out on a regular basis. Readers will certainly agree that alligators do not belong at school, and parents, if they are far enough removed from them, will fondly remember the days of their own children's mischief. (Picture book. 4-8)
Children's Literature - Heather Christensen
You might think that Laura Numeroff’s infamous mouse with a cookie was trouble, but wait until you see the mischief that an alligator at school can bring! In this cause-and-effect story, Magnolia, an ambitious little girl, does her best to reign in the titular alligator while waiting for show-and-tell. The alligator’s child-like exuberance will have kids howling with laughter as they watch him draw funny pictures, teach origami, and generate a chewing gum disaster. As the day progresses, poor Magnolia gets her name on the board, followed by check marks, and underlining—each indicating the consequence of bad behavior, from loss of recess time to an after-school visit with the principal. Parsley’s digitally drawn and painted illustrations are full of energy and character. The students, with big, round heads and squat bodies are reminiscent of Schultz’s “Peanuts” characters. Magnolia’s facial expressions show pride in her unusual exhibit, anxiety as her trouble grows, frustration and anger at her situation, as well a host of other emotions. The giant green alligator, walking upright on hind legs, looks both impressive and loveable, even with his jaws opened ominously over a student. Share this rollicking tale in story time for guaranteed laughs. Reviewer: Heather Christensen; Ages 4 to 7.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316376570
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
07/07/2015
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
1,465
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 11.40(h) x 0.30(d)
Lexile:
AD750L (what's this?)
Age Range:
3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Elise Parsley lives in Minnesota with her husband. If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't! is her debut picture book.

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If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't! 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Carstairs38 More than 1 year ago
Seriously, Wouldn’t an Alligator Make the Best Show and Tell Ever? 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.
nancy More than 1 year ago
SUCH a cute book!