HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Baby Alligator
Author: Ginjer L. Clarke
Illustrator: Neecy Twinem
Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap, 2000
ISBN-13: 978-0448418513 (hardback)
ISBN-10: 0448418517 (hardback)
ISBN-13: 978-0448420950 (paperback)
ISBN-10: 0448420953 (paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Clarke, Ginjer L. Baby Alligator (published in 2001 by Grosset and Dunlap). This All Aboard Science Reader follows a baby alligator deep in the swamps of Florida from the time she hatches out of the egg and crawls out of the shell until the coming of cold weather when she digs a tunnel in the lake-side mud to wait for spring. What’s in store for this little reptile? Youngsters will follow it through its first adventures, and get a glimpse into the world of these amazing creatures. Perhaps the final page best sums up this book: “Maybe now that you know more about alligators, you will not be too afraid of them. Just be very careful.” When our boys were in early grades, we liked to supplement their science studies with “living books,” such as this one, many of which we found in our local library.
Though slightly fictionalized, this introduction to alligators also provides facts about the physical features and habits of these often misunderstood and sometimes feared animals. The informative account concludes with fifteen pages of information about alligators and their current cousins, including the crocodile, and prehistoric, dinosaur-hunting relatives—watch out for a little evolutionary presupposition here. Author Ginjer L. Clarke’s easy-to-read text, didactic, yet simple, describes how alligators live, from what they eat to how they swim so quickly. Illustrator Neecy Twinem’s full-color paintings effectively depict alligators in the wild. It is an adventurous and unforgettable read from start to finish.