Magnolia learns the hard way that an alligator is not a great item to bring for show and tell, and she wants readers to learn from her experience.
While Magnolia’s struggles with the alligator and his rambunctious behavior will be funny to kids, it’s adults who have dealt with similar behavior from their own young charges who will chuckle loudest. First, the alligator makes Magnolia laugh during spelling by showing her the funny picture he’s drawn. Her name goes on the board: last in line at lunch. She takes his crayons away. Then his origami paper airplane goes astray during art. The check next to Magnolia’s name means no recess. She takes away the paper. Some gum distracts him from eating a classmate...but makes a mess nonetheless—two more checks and an underline mean a trip to the principal’s office. Magnolia may be down, but she’s not out: she has a trick up her sleeve that just might turn her day around. Or not. Parsley’s digital illustrations are a riot, Magnolia’s smug expression gradually changing to chagrin, anger, and outright terror as the alligator continues his shenanigans, none worse than what a toddler dishes out on a regular basis.
Readers will certainly agree that alligators do not belong at school, and parents, if they are far enough removed from them, will fondly remember the days of their own children’s mischief. (Picture book. 4-8)