Friday, May 6, 2011

A sneak attack of a Double Favorite Picture Book of the Week!

These days, I barely have to say "Need any mo' books?" to get a Mo Willems picture book or early reader into someone's hands. If his name itself isn't already known, most parents recognize him once they see the notorious Pigeon or the simple sketch style. I don't need to be clairvoyant to predict how his latest picture book will rocket into popularity: but I can't let a Mo book go by without some mo' love to give it! Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator is "six and half surprising stories about two surprising friends," a lighthearted series of stories about two very different friends, a la the hippos George and Martha, that is 64 pages long: twice the length of the usual picture book. I love every single depiction of Amanda's blue alligator, usually with his feet in the air, mid-stride, surrounded by squiggly excited motion lines, occasionally clutching his tail like a security blanket. Again like James Marshall's hippo pals, Willems can imbue such a variety of expressions through a few dots and a line. I'm crossing my fingers that when I get home from work today, with a pile of books on my arms like Amanda, there will be a very happy, very blue alligator excited to see me.

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