In workaday green and grey pictures and without any words, a hen rears an alligator from a hatchling to comparatively giant size, feeding and tending and measuring it at first and later mainly scolding it for eating the farmer's pumpkins. . . stepladder. . . pies. . . laundry and wash tub. . . tractor tire. . . everything in sight. The mother hen's reward comes when her adopted child saves her from a fox, and the ""child"" gets his when the grateful farmer serves him up a few stacks of pancakes. For readers, palatable fare--but no gourmet treat.