By Paul Schmid
Hyperion, 32 pages, $15.99
Oliver is nervous to start his first day of school. So nervous, that he finds an alligator to bring “in case things get rough.” Even when his teacher welcomes him to her class, and a fellow student introduces herself, Oliver gets uncomfortable. When Oliver gets uncomfortable he instructs his alligator to “munch, munch!” and the gator gobbles them up. Soon, Oliver has the Alligator gobble up the whole class, the desks, chairs and decorations. When Oliver is sitting in the class alone, he realizes school would be a lot less scary and a lot more fun if he had friends to enjoy it with.
The lesson of Oliver and his Alligator by Paul Schmid is ideal for pre-school or kindergarten students jumping into a new environment. Often schools, day cares and extracurricular classes can overwhelm young children. Oliver and his Alligator eases the fears children might have and helps them realize the potential for fun.
Reviewed by Sophie Sestero