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THE UNDERGROUND GATORS

Author: Tina Casey

Illustrator: Lynn Munsinger

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books,

Material: hard cover

Summary: Legend has it that alligators live in the sewers of New York City. Is that really true? This book answers such questions like why pizzas are round and what happens to missing socks. Fun illustrations make this fictional book fun to read. The last pages tell the true facts about all the things they do find in the sewers of big cities. This picture book answers (creatively) some of kids' perennial questions.

Type of Reading: family reading, playtime reading, independent reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 8; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 4 to 9

Reading Level: 3.3

Age of Child: Read with a 5-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter picked out this book at the library because the title interested her. She said she had never thought about an alligator living in the sewers, and she liked the idea that in big cities animals might live there. She enjoyed seeing all the funny things the alligators did. She laughed at the idea of alligators ordering pizza and having it delivered to the manholes in the road. She thought that was a very good reason for the man holes and pizzas to be round!

Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fun and imaginative story. I was surprised she liked it; I expected her to say that it wasn't believable. The story is written in a way that made it fun and interesting and made her think about the possibility instead of just saying "it could never happen."

Pros: A fun story and great pictures will have the kids (and you) believing there are alligators in the sewers!

Cons: No older child will believe the story and will probably not finish reading it. Younger children can better imagine it actually happening.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a fun book you're likely to share lots of times. Kids will remember this every time they hear the legend of alligators in the sewers. It is a perfect selection for school and public libraries.

If You Liked This Book, Try: DRAGONS   TROSCLAIR AND THE ALLIGATOR   MONSTERS AND WATER BEASTS

Educational Themes: This is largely a book just to be shared and laugh together. It is a great example of using your imagination. You can also talk about what legends are. Ask the kids if they can think of stories like this that they've heard (e.g., moon made of cheese).

Notes: A Reading Tub volunteer submitted this review. S/He borrowed the book from the local library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, humor, fables and folklore

Date(s) Reviewed: July 2009

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