Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Book Review - Gator, Gator, Second Grader

Gator, Gator, Second Grader: Classroom Pet or Not?

By: Conrad J. Storad
Illustrated by: Alex Lopez
Publisher: Little Five Star
Publication Date: December 2014
ISBN: 978-1589852716
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: November 6, 2014

Oh my goodness! Is it true? Is there really an alligator in the classroom? I don't think a second grade classroom is a good place for a gator. Do you?

There are all sorts of animals that make very good classroom pets, but there are others that simply are a bad idea. This is the story of one such classroom, all the pets that live there, and of the new pet that arrived one day. Told by Sue the gerbil, who prefers to be called Snoozer because, well, you know, she likes to sleep A LOT, and "translated from gerbilish to English" by author Conrad J. Storad, this is a silly, sweet, and fun story of just what makes a good classroom pet.

Snoozer begins by introducing the reader to all the animals that live in Mrs. Nichols' classroom. There's Lola the red knee tarantula, two white mice, a tank full of goldfish and oh yes, let's not forget about Nat the cat who visits the school and likes to peek through the windows at Snoozer and the other animals. All was well with the animals, and the students learned a lot about various creatures by watching/studying them. What could be better? But then one day Benny and Jacob came to school with a little surprise - a baby alligator! Some of the other kids thought the baby alligator was the absolute coolest creature to enter the classroom. Names were tossed around - what should they call the new addition to the class? Whoa! Wait a minute! Mrs. Nichols had to put a stop to this dangerous idea right away. A classroom was NO place for a baby alligator!

Gator, Gator, Second Grader is a wonderful introduction to the world of classroom pets. With the teacher's help, students, and readers, learn about what makes a good pet, and why an alligator is NOT a good idea. Once Mrs. Nichols explains the concept, the students take turns listing an animal that would make a good pet, followed by an animal that should be left in the wild. At the end of the story are over ten pages of additional facts, from proper hand washing after handling an animal, information on gerbils and alligators, the often confused alligator vs. crocodile quandry, plus a curriculum and activity guide. Add in the fantastic illustrations and there's no doubt that this book should be in every classroom!

Quill says: Gator, gator, you belong in the wild, not in a second grade classroom! Read and learn all about various animals in this charming book about just what makes a good pet.

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