Book of the Week: A Girl and Her Gator

A Girl and Her Gator by Sean Bryan Illustrated by Tom Murphy

Published: 2006 by Arcade Books

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:

I love how there no real explanation of how or why this gator suddenly appeared atop main character Clair’s head. But he does explain why he likes it there and wants to stay there, because of the amazing views and for the love of fresh air.

I love gators, and I love the depiction of the gator himself. He isn’t mean, nor is he looking to eat Claire, rather he’s just there for the ride and the friendship. This may sound strange, but I found this depiction to be (very loosely) realistic in the fact that alligators do not attack nor do they eat humans. The only time they will attack is when they feel threatened. In fact, alligators as opposed to crocodiles prefer small creatures to us large humans. However, this doesn’t mean that I’m saying the next time you’re at your local zoo to go and pet the “friendly” gator (or try to put him/her on your head – he will not like that, and may feel threatened at that point) , remember an animal is an animal.

The gator’s name is Pierre and he’s French (he even speaks it).

I like how the book ultimately show the importance of self – acceptance, and that if you accept what/who you are other around you will (ideally) accept you too.

Main character Claire isn’t only confident, she’s incredibly nice and giving (she does share her head after all) and she’s so sweet.

Pierre’s list of things Claire could do with a gator on her head is quite amusing, and if you did have a gator on your head these are all do-able things: go to a fair, scare your brother, or even become a zillionaire to name a few.

Overall, it’s a really fun story. I like the aspect that not every children’s book has to teach a point/moral/lesson, but instead shows that a story could simply be for pleasures sake.

The color scheme works for the books. Everything is done is shades of pink, green, and white – all the colors that represent Claire and Pierre (a girl and her gator!)

The text rhymes! Oh, happy day!

No one questions her (or Pierre for that matter) why there’s a talking gator on top of her head, instead they carry on as if this is perfectly normal. I love that because in today’s society if someone wears, let’s say, a strange hat everyone is stopping and staring.

The illustrations are simple and direct, yet they are the perfect complement to the story.

It may be a fun, silly book but it’s a well written one.

Did I mention, I love gators?!