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ALLIGATORS AND OTHERS ALL YEAR LONG by Crescent Dragonwagon

ALLIGATORS AND OTHERS ALL YEAR LONG

A Book of Months

By Crescent Dragonwagon (Author) , Jose Aruego (Illustrator) , Ariane Dewey (Illustrator)

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-02-733091-5
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

 Animals celebrate seasonal delights--from an ice-skating January cat to November pigs feasting on pie and December's union of all the characters to carry a Christmas tree. At New Year's, the months are compared to 12 presents waiting to be unwrapped, with their contents revealed at the end--a striking simile; there's also much alliteration and some clever wordplay, but, overall, the poetry is amateurish. Too many words are chosen merely to fit the rhyme scheme; there are mystifying references (the ``Lotus Castle'' in August; ``our gracious hostess'' in November), and an inexcusable grammatical lapse in (``friends brings treats''). The irresistible gouache paintings far outshine the text, with humorous touches like an alligator in the extreme foreground staring hungrily at the reader, five seagulls in skydiving formation, and a jack-o'-lantern with such a long grin that it resembles--yes, the alligator! A concluding song (melody by Bill Haymes) needs an accompaniment to support its syncopated rhythms and implied harmonic changes, but the lower staff has been left blank--so why print it at all? (Poetry/Picture book. 5-8)