Mo Willems spells out a story of friendship between Amanda and her toy alligator in six and a half stories. Alligator hates waiting for Amanda to come back when she is out. He loves both being surprised by Amanda and surprising her. When she is unimpressed when he copies one of her tricks, he has to go put on his Old Thinking Cap to think of a new trick. One day, Amanda’s newest surprise upsets alligator because she brings home a new toy panda from the zoo. Will their be room for both of them in Amanda’s life?
Young readers would enjoy drawing pictures of the alligator from this book. Alligator’s expressions throughout the story add a whole dimension to it with just a few lines. This would be an excellent book to use with children worried about making new friends.
My favorite story in this picture book was A Surprising Tickle. A close second was a surprising solution.