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Produced by Cindy Hamon-Hill; directed by Christopher Sanderson AP Productions/Calico Pix in association with CBC, 1992. VHS cassette, 47:15 min., $99.00
Distributed by Magic Lantern Communications, Unit #38, 775 Pacific Rd., Oakville, Ont. L6L 6M4.

Subject Headings:
Canadian poetry-Juvenile films.
Childrens poetry-Juvenile films.
Lee, Dennis, 1939-

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7

Reviewed by David L. Twigge

Volume 20 Number 5
1992 October

"Alligator pie, alligator pie... If I don't get some I think I'm gonna die..." Most print literate children in Canada will recognize the title of this video from the Dennis Lee poem that is so catchy that children (and adults) start chanting along even on the first hearing.

The video Alligator Pie uses a number of poems from various collections by Lee in a story about six-year-old Nicholas and his stuffed toys, his friend Monica, and his grandad. Egg, a huggable Humpty Dumpty figure, is stolen by prankster Hoobody, and Nicholas and his friends search for him.

The adventure is a framework on which are hung poems from the books Alligator Pie¹, Nicholas Knock (Macmillan, 1974) and Garbage Delight². Lee's poems take delight in words that rhyme, somewhat like Dr. Seuss's, and the appeal of these poems comes through loud and clear in this video.

The stuffed toys are Muppet-style puppets and are very captivating. There are also sequences of Plasticine animation for some of the poems.

Alligator Pie would be enjoyed by children in the home (originally it was shown on television) and also in Kindergarten and Primary classrooms as an introduction to poetry (the video price includes public performance rights). The plot line is rather slight for the length of the video, but the separate poems are sure to bolster interest. Young children who can't sustain three quarters of an hour may enjoy it in selected sequences. The background music is lively and appropriate, and overall the production values of the video are excellent. This video is recommended for public and school library collections.

David L. Twigge is Coordinator, Children's Services, at Burnaby Public
Library in Burnaby, British Columbia

¹ Reviewed vol. XVI/2 March 1988, p. 58.
² Reviewed vol. V1/2 Spring 1978, p. 87.

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