Blogger Jennifer Schultz

A is for Alligator

Animal-themed storytimes are plentiful. Tons of picture books, tons of fingerplays, and tons of ideas for crafts/activities. If you’re looking for something more exotic than dogs and cats, an alligator storytime might be in store.

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What would you do if an alligator slipped inside your house, with only your siblings to share in your terror? You’d be plenty scared, wouldn’t you? That’s exactly the situation in which three young siblings find themselves when an alligator invades the homefront. Eventually, the kids get tired of all the scary alligator stuff.  Snip, Snap! What’s That? is one of the first stories I read to my toddlers when they can handle slightly longer storylines; it’s an excellent balance of suspense and humor.

If you give a kid a saxophone, you should expect noise. Lots of noise. Unfortunately, Miles’s parents can’t take the noise any longer and banish him outside, which doesn’t endear them to the neighbors.  Miles and his Swamp Band find an encouraging audience in the swamp, including an alligator who has dinner plans with the band.  Boisterous scenes will make Mama Don’t Allow a highlight of your storytime.  

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Imagine you’re a frog. You’re doing what any normal frog would do: relaxing on a log and gorging yourself on a generous array of bugs and insects. Naturally, you get a little fatter. Not so naturally, the log on which you are resting moves.

A Frog in the Bogis one of the longer “counting” books that I read to my toddlers.  Don’t let the length of the book dissuade you from including it in a storytime; the many opportunities to create a spirited reading (editorial comments on the frog’s diet) and the refrain of “And the frog grows a little bit bigger” combined with the wild ending make this a fun choice for toddlers and preschoolers. 

Any awesome alligator tales you’d like to share?

Books Mentioned:

Bergman, Mara.  Snip, Snap! What’s That?New York: Greenwillow Books, 2005.

Hurd, Thacher.  Mama Don’t Allow.  New York: Harper & Row, 1984.

Wilson, Karma.  A Frog in the Bog.  New York: Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2003.

4 comments

  1. Abby

    I love “I’d Really Like to Eat a Child” by Sylviane Donnio, though it may be better appreciated by the older preschool/young grade-school set (and it might be a crocodile).

  2. thom barthelmess

    I really like Mike Lester’s clever alphabet book A is for Salad. The very first spread establishes the formula, with an Alligator eating a salad. The concept is super-clever, and the illustrations hilarious.

    Also, though technically about a crocodile, I must mention Chih-Yuan Chen’s Guji Guji, about a magnanimous young crocodile, raised by ducks, who demonstrates remarkable courage and loyalty when his adopted family comes under nefarious attack.

  3. Angela

    I love “I’d Really like to Eat A Child” as well, but it is definitely for the sophisticated storytimer. I’m a huge alligator fan – -I read any picture book with an alligator in it.

    I also really like “For Pete’s Sake” by Ellen Stoll Walsh. Pete is a little flamingo who looks different than the others.. well, maybe he is not a flamingo after all? My favourite quote from the book: “Don’t worry…. You probably aren’t ripe yet. It takes longer for some.”

  4. Myron Dejulio

    Well I sincerely liked studying it. This tip procured by you is very helpful for good planning.

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