Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Review - Alligator Boy

Alligator Boy
by Cynthia Rylant
illustrated by Diane Goode
Date: 2007
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: Open Library

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.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

When I came across this book, my first thought was, "What the heck is this?!" Alligator Boy is actually a funny story about imagination, acceptance, and being yourself... even if that self is scaly and green.

A little boy decides he's had enough of being a little boy, so his aunt sends him an alligator costume. He wears it everywhere. His dad accepts him, but his mom is worried and calls for the doctor (who tells her to call a vet)! The vet basically just tells the parents to accept the kids and let him do his own thing... but he still has to go to school. At school, the alligator has to deal with a bully, but after that, he finds he quite enjoys learning.

The boy is happiest as an alligator, and the overall message of the book is just being yourself. Who's the kid hurting? Nobody. If being an alligator makes him happy, then he should get to be happy. I'm not quite sure if there would be such open attitudes at the time this book is apparently set (based on the clothes and technology, it appears to be the early 20th century), and such a child would likely be put in the corner and his costume confiscated. But I kind of like the fact that the author and illustrator took some artistic license here and combined the old-fashioned setting with the modern message. It makes for a really cute book.

Overall, this is a great picture book. I'd never heard of it before... but now that I've read it, I doubt I'll forget it!

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: 4/5
Writing & Editing: 5/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 5/5

Enjoyment: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4.57 out of 5 ladybugs

No comments:

Post a Comment