A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that the words have been chosen for their memorability and the alligators are highly emotive -- it won't take long before read-alouds become harmonies.
Is It Any Good?
The words are fun and effective and the illustrations are charming, but they may seem simplistic to today's audience. They're done in black and white with a few colors added, a printing style common in the early '60s. The expressions, however, are right as rain. In the illustration accompanying "never napping," the young alligator has rings under the eyes and a deep slouch to the shoulders; in the art that goes with "having headaches," the two adult alligators are lying in bed with damp cloths over their eyes.
Maurice Sendak has a way of blending the everyday with the bizarre, extending the possibilities of life. These alligators may be throwing tantrums and acting spoiled and fooling around, but they are also riding reindeer and entertaining elephants. The discontinuities penetrate, and in the process so do the letters.
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