Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Monday, September 19, 2011

The A's Have It!

Friends come in all shapes and sizes; the least likely friendships pop up out of discovering those common interests not initially visible.  Horray for Amanda & Her Alligator with words and pictures by Mo Willems brings together another delectable duo of a girl and her stuffed animal. 

True to the promise posed by the book's endpapers Amanda and Alligator have a happy, harmonious companionship full of surprises; six and one half to be precise.  These unexpected outcomes are brought to readers in concise chapters with Willems' impeccable, deliberate tempo combining words and illustrations conveying a full range of thought and emotion through specific word choice or subtle shift in his drawing.

I do not like it when Amanda is gone, thought Alligator.  I am no good at waiting.

Amanada is off to the library for her weekly visit.  Waiting Alligator hopes that Amanda will bring him a surprise.  She does but surprises, like friends, come in all shapes and sizes.  Amanda keeps life interesting.

When Alligator wishes to reciprocate his attempt falls flat until he digs up his Old Thinking Cap, then a double dose of the unanticipated strikes.  A mirror and an attack reveal startling and laughable results.

Truth (When friends ask you to tell the truth, you tell the truth.) and the traits of a true friend shine in Alligator's search to find out what tickles.  Did you know that Amanda's head tastes better than a book?  Alligator knows but he discovers what else a book can do.

When Amanda brings home another stuffed animal, panda, from a trip to the zoo with her Grandpa, a startled Alligator and readers will be pleasantly amazed at the unpredictable ending.

Clearly Alligator, the workings of his mind, how he verbalizes his ideas and the comical expressions despite what he may be feeling , is the character that the intended audience will gravitate toward.  But Amanda has that rare wisdom of the young which is missed if you are not looking for it; her truthful answers to hard questions and bringing the panda home to Alligator. 

Mo Willems, you have another winner.  Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! is a fun-filled fable on friendship.

The space on my personal bookshelf for Willems' books keeps getting larger and larger.   His fans at our school will love this new title just as they do his others.  During the school year there is a huge gap on the shelf where his books would normally be found.

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