PreS-Gr. 2. In this offbeat fantasy, an alligator makes his way down the street, through the front door, up the stairs, and into an apartment where three children flee from his gaping jaws. Finally, when they have endured the threat–or perhaps enjoyed the thrill–long enough, they turn the tables by yelling at the beast, who runs away. Using elements of rhythm and rhyme as well as an enjoyably predictable question-and-answer refrain, the text maintains a playful tone beneath the scary details such as alligator eyes flashing and teeth gnashing. Expressive line drawings, brightened with watercolor washes, illustrate the story with wit and style. Not for every preschooler, perhaps, but good fun for some, especially those who fantasize that they really could whip an alligator and those who realize that their home will never be invaded by a giant reptile. The final scene, in which the beast escapes into a manhole, might keep the alligators-in-the-sewer urban legend alive for another generation. Carolyn Phelan
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