A reptilian kindergartner who can’t keep his hands to himself is the focus of this kickoff to a new series from Wells.
Harry is just having fun, being goofy, being the class clown. But none of his classmates see it that way. Not when they are tackled, when spilled glue ruins a gift or when paint wrecks a new shirt. After each episode, the kindly Miss Harmony attempts (and fails) to get Harry to see the error of his ways. Several hastily called “Friendly Circle” meetings allow Harry’s classmates to express their frustration with his behavior in positive ways and to give Harry some ideas of what he should do with his hands instead. Nothing works until Babette finds the perfect way to teach Harry about personal space. Like magic, the lesson is learned, and Harry even manages to earn the good-behavior gold star by dismissal time. An afterword gives educators and parents alike some ways to effectively share this book with youngsters. Wells’ “kindergators” are delightful alligators, each with a personality all its own. Collaged clothing covers their bumpy-textured alligator skin, which can actually be felt on the front cover.While Wells tidies everything up a bit more neatly than real-life Miss Harmonys are likely to manage, there are some valuable lessons in problem solving and expressing oneself, for both children and educators. (Picture book. 3-6)