Don't Say I Didn't Warn You! If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, DON'T! by Elisa Parsley
YOU'LL TELL YOUR TEACHER YOUR ALLIGATOR WILL BE QUIET AND GOOD AND WON'T EAT ANYONE, CROSS YOUR HEART!
But Magnolia's alligator didn't get that memo. He cracks up the class during spelling lesson by showing silly drawings, and Magnolia gets her name on the board, which means she has to be last in line for lunch.
Magnolia tries to curb her alligator. Really, she does. But during the art lesson on origami, Magnolia's alligator folds a paper airplane and sails it across the room and right into the back of the teacher's head.
Magnolia gets a check beside her name on the board. NO recess for Magnolia.
DURING MATH, MAGNOLIA NOTICES THAT HER ALLIGATOR IS HUNGRY.
Magnolia intervenes just in time to save a classmate's head from being an alligator appetizer.
YOU WILL BEG HIM NOT TO EAT ANYONE AND FOR PETE'S SAKE, TO WAIT FOR SHOW AND TELL!
Lunch is fairly hairy for Maggie. The good news is that the alligator refrains from eating any actual kids. The bad news is that he eats her lunch and most of everyone else's.
Magnolia gets her name on the board again, with more checks and an underline, which means she has an after-school date with the principal.
And when show-and-tell time finally rolls around, Magnolia has to sit through the usual boring bird's nests and sparkly rock exhibits until it's her turn to present the wonders of her alligator, 76 teeth and all. Her alligator cooperates by brandishing all 76 of them. But Magnolia proves she's in charge. Pointing out that 'gators are only afraid of other alligators and humans, Magnolia faces him down with her very scariest face!
BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA!
Magnolia clears the room as the teacher, kids, AND her alligator run for their lives.
YEAH. IF YOU EVER WANT TO BRING YOUR ALLIGATOR TO SCHOOL. DON'T.
Since Mary brought that lamb to school, kids have loved stories about show-and-tell sessions gone awry, and Elisa Parsley's over-the-top If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School, Don't! (Little, Brown and Company, 2015) is already enjoying top-selling success, by virtue of its dead-pan narration juxtaposed against giggle-getting sight gags in the illustrations. The classroom is hung with school banners that read The Swampies, and Parsley even adds a closing endpaper in which Maggie's alligator, hiding inside her locker, scares the heck out of a classmate. It's silly, it's preposterous, and it's a hoot for primary graders who love an outrageously slapstick school story.
And speaking of outrageous stories, School Library Journal compares this one with David Shannon's beloved David Goes To School and adds "This is an engaging debut picture book written in free verse will appeal to a wide age range. Here's hoping for more adventures with Magnolia!"