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“You’ll give the alligator three pieces of your favorite gum and beg him not to eat anyone and, for Pete’s sake, to wait for show-and-tell!” –If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!
If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t!
Magnolia Says DON'T! #1
by Elise Parsley
AR Test, Picture Book
4 – 8
An alligator for show-and-tell sounds like tons of fun. What could possibly go wrong?
Magnolia wants to impress her classmates with the best show-and-tell item: an alligator. The other kids bring ordinary objects like a birds nest, a sparkly rock, and a hollow stick. While these things aren’t as exciting as an alligator, they also don’t try to eat anyone.
If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! is full of funny alligator actions. The best parts of the book are the facial expressions of the teacher, the alligator, and Magnolia. Readers will be able to see Magnolia’s excitement change to frustration as the alligator causes mischief. Her frustration then turns to dismay when the alligator tries to snack on a student. The ending is appropriate and contains a fun display of alligator trouble. Be sure to look inside of the back cover for one last surprising alligator appearance.
The bright, full-page illustrations will draw readers into the story, but the text also has plenty of fun. Each sentence is written in large text and the text size varies to highlight important words. Each page consists of 1-4 sentences which are intended to be read by an adult before children read it independently. Magnolia’s classmates are diverse, but the teacher is portrayed in a stereotypical manner.
Readers will learn a little bit about alligators and a lot about appropriate behavior in this humorous picture book. The surprise ending will have readers laughing out loud. Magnolia and her alligator are full of fun surprises that readers of all ages will enjoy. If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don’t! is one book that every child should have on their bookshelf.
- Magnolia throws a pie into someone’s face.
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