Friday, October 12, 2018

Chomp Goes The Alligator by Matthew Van Fleet

Everything An Interactive Book Should Be

This heavy-duty board book is built to withstand hours of fun.

It begins with
"One shiny, blue fish / swimming in the swamp. / Along came the alligator . . .  / chomp, chomp, chomp!"
At that time the child can pull the tab on the side of the book to make the alligator's mouth open and snap shut. The blue fish has shiny portions to feel and there is a cat tail with a soft fabric to feel.

Then there are two otters, then three cranes, etc.

If you're like me, even though each page is brightly colored, has cutouts to run a finger around and textured material to feel representing soft fur, a cat tail, or feathers, the chomp aspect of the story and a hungry alligator might worry you.

*spoiler alert*

The counting continues until we get to ten hummingbirds. All the time the alligator is growing larger with each chomp, but after ten
One enormous alligator, / so full his tummy hurts. / Along came one last tiny fish, / chomp, chomp . . . BURP!  / Excuse me!"
All the animals (unharmed) come flying out and land all over the last large foldout page. The reader is then invited to read the book again but to count the insects on each page, which are scattered around the illustrations.

My Thoughts

What Concerned Me: As stated above, if you are squeamish in any way about even imagining the animals being chomped, it may not be a good choice. Though the only chomping comes from the alligator's mouth opening and closing. We never see animals being eaten, etc.

What I Liked Most: This book has so many features that it's hard not to like it. The illustrations are very child-friendly and bright. The ability to touch so many things on each page, then later search for the insects, should keep children entertained for hours. And, of course, the pullout tab to chomp will delight most kids.
Author/Illustrator: Matthew Van Fleet
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (September  2018)
  • Ages: 2+
  • Pages: 26

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