Judith Henderson
Andrea Stegmaier

When a hungry alligator moves to their town, the residents want him out . . . until they get to know him (and learn what he's actually hungry for!). A timely tale about empathy, acceptance and a community's response to injustice.

Though he's scared at first, a boy who encounters an alligator in the woods soon realizes that all the alligator wants is companionship --- and leftovers --- and the two become good friends. But the mayor of the boy's town simply won't allow it. He even makes an official proclamation, “NO ALLIGATORS! Blah, blah, blah.” The townspeople agree with the mayor. At first. But once they see how kind and helpful the alligator is (and how nice it is to have someone to eat all their leftovers!), they decide the alligator should be allowed to stay. They help the alligator avoid the mayor, for a while. But it's becoming harder to find a place for him to hide. Can they all come together and find a way to keep the alligator in their town?

Judith Henderson's funny, whimsical and heartwarming picture book tale offers a playful way to engage children with issues of injustice and civil disobedience. In this timely story, a boy and then an entire community move beyond their fear of the “other” and respond with acceptance; then they movingly take it a step further to make change. It highlights the positive character education attributes of empathy, kindness, caring and courage. Andrea Stegmaier's illustrations include loads of charming details that are not in the text, making them a perfect complement to the story's warm and quirky style. This is a terrific book for lessons on communities and social justice.

978-1-5253-0151-3 | Oct 6, 2020
List Price: USD $18.99, CAD $19.99
4-color 8 1/2 x 12 40 pages
Grades: PreSchool To 2 / Ages: 3 to 7
978-1-5253-0585-6 | Oct 6, 2020
List Price: USD $9.99, CAD $9.99

Awards & Reviews

“The trope of the unlikely friendship delivered with a traditional feel and a modern message.”
— Kirkus Reviews, July 2020
“A fable-like tale full of gentle twists that emphasize questioning assumptions and creative problem solving.”
— Publishers Weekly, September 2020
“... a sheer delight to be shared with young adventurers everywhere.”
— CM Magazine, October 2020
“A hilarious, slightly subversive story pairs a smartly funny prose narrative full of wonderful language and wordplay with marvelous illustrations that mine every moment for humor.”
— Cooperative Children`s Book Center, May 2021
2023 - Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award, Washington Library Association, Nominated
2022 - Georgia Children`s Book Awards, University of Georgia, Finalist
2021 - Shining Willow Award, SYRCA, Short-listed
2021 - Funniest Children`s Book Award, Joan Betty Stuchner --- Oy Vey!, Winner
2021 - CCBC Choices List, Cooperative Children's Book Center, Winner

Also Recommended