Who Lives in an Alligator Hole?
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Who Lives in an Alligator Hole?

by Anne Rockwell, Lizzy Rockwell

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Scientists consider alligators a "keystone species"—the most important animal in their habitat. Without the alligator, many animals dependent on the gator would become extinct. Read and find out about how alligators are much more than big jaws and sharp teeth!


Scientists consider alligators a "keystone species"—the most important animal in their habitat. Without the alligator, many animals dependent on the gator would become extinct. Read and find out about how alligators are much more than big jaws and sharp teeth!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
What an outstanding addition to the "Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science" series for early readers! Deftly, in words and pictures, the Rockwells (mother and daughter) introduce young scientists to alligator origins and habits, focusing on the reptile's pivotal place in its southeastern American environment. The fascinating text relates how alligators open a whole ecosystem for plants and animals by digging their gator holes in damp muck. As the hole fills with underground water, fish and insects come to life, attracting birds, who drop seeds; soon the gator hole is teeming with life, beautifully portrayed in gouache and colored-pencil paintings of the birds (gallinules, egrets, ibises, anhingas) and other creatures like raccoons, garfish, turtles, and snakes. Equally absorbing is the story of the near-extinction and recovery of the once-endangered reptile, and the plan to restore its Everglades habitat. (Readers also learn that Chinese alligators, discovered only a hundred years ago, are now endangered.) Lizzy Rockwell makes the alligator's plight visible for young readers by picturing an exhibit of 1925 fashions featuring alligator shoes, hatbox, and handbags; another painting depicts a yellow bulldozer destroying a gator hole while a billboard advertises, "Coming Soon! Alligator Gables." The story ends with children painting a two-page "Save the Alligators" mural, and a challenge to young environmentalists: "Can you think of ways to save the Chinese alligator, too?" This is a fine example of dedicated and talented collaborators creating a well-researched science book that's also an engaging work of children's literature. (Kids will enjoy exploring the artist's website atwww.lizzyrockwell.com.)
School Library Journal
Gr 2-4-Introductory titles with an environmentalist point of view. The first book offers facts about alligators and their habitat, followed by discussions of why they began to disappear, how their environment changed, and what has been done to save American alligators. Readers are asked to think of ways to save those in China, which continue to be endangered. An activity is included. Ice Caps discusses the need for balance in nature, the greenhouse effect, and what can be done to help combat global warming. In both books, the information is detailed, but not overwhelming. However, the absence of chapters might hinder their use for reports. Colorful illustrations provide details that support the texts.-Christine Markley, Washington Elementary School, Barto, PA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Rockwell's latest Let's Read and Find Out introduces readers to alligators and the role they play in their habitat. While she also addresses the positive and negative ways people have had an impact on the alligator population over the years, her focus is on alligator holes-places where alligators have thrashed through the damp muck overlying a limestone pit, which then fills with underground water. In these watering holes, dormant fish and insects lay their eggs, attracting the animals that feed on them. Birds drop the seeds that grow to provide food and shelter for even more. By changing the habitat for its own use, the alligator has helped other species survive, so it's called a keystone species. A non-reading child would be able to get much of the text's information from Lizzy Rockwell's pictures alone. Her lifelike (and labeled) illustrations could be used to identify animals in the wild. A follow-up activity demonstrates how alligator holes provide water in the dry season. Finally, a list of gator facts is provided. A good introduction to alligators, reptiles and endangered species. (Nonfiction. 5-9)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science Series: Level 2
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Anne Rockwell is a pioneer in the field of nonfiction for very young children. She has more than a hundred books to her credit, including Why Are the Ice Caps Melting? and Clouds in the Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. She lives in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Anne and Lizzy Rockwell have collaborated on all the Mrs. Madoff books, including St. Patrick's Day and Presidents' Day, and Who Lives in an Alligator Hole? in the Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. Anne is the author of What's So Bad About Gasoline?; Brendan and Belinda and the Slam Dunk!; Why Are the Ice Caps Melting?; and Only Passing Through: The Story of Sojourner Truth. Lizzy is the author-illustrator of Good Enough to Eat; The Busy Body Book; and Hello Baby! Both Anne and Lizzy live in Connecticut.

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