Friday, December 16, 2011
Review: There's an Alligator under My Bed
There's an Alligator under My Bed by Mercer Mayer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
You can see the author/illustrator reading his book, with pans of the illustrations, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNE8p0E4NVU
This is a twist on the monster-under-the-bed scenario-- a young boy is convinced that there is an alligator living under his bed, but when his parents look, the alligator hides somewhere so they don't believe him. He comes up with a plan to lure the alligator out from under his bed: he places a trail of various kinds of food from his room down to the garage, and when the alligator follows the trail to its end, he closes the door and locks it in the garage, then leaves notes taped to the door to warn his father that the alligator is in there now. But really, this book raises more questions than it answers. Was there actually an alligator? If so, where did it hide? Why did it want to eat candy, pop, and fresh fruit and vegetables? If there wasn't an alligator, where did all the food on the floor go?
The illustrations, in a pretty basic color scheme (not too bright, not too monochromatic), make the alligator look more dopey than threatening, but it's still understandable that a kid wouldn't want one under his bed.
Mr. Mayer is excited about his book, and really gets into the storytelling, but he uses some rather silly sound effects over the story, like children laughing. However, the music he chooses, upbeat banjo, for the second half of the story, fits very well. Recommended for grades K-2.
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