________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 22. . . .February 13, 2015


Alligator Pie.

Dennis Lee. Illustrated by Sandy Nichols.
Toronto, ON: HarperCollins, 2014.
24 pp., board book, $12.99.
ISBN 978-1-44341-161-5.

Subject Heading:
Children's poetry, Canadian (English).

Preschool / Birth-age 4.

Review by Barb Janicek.

**** /4



Alligator Pie, alligator pie, If I don’t get some, I think I’m gonna die.
Give away the green grass,
Give away the sky,
But don’t give away my alligator pie.


Generations of Canadian children and families grew up reading poems from Dennis Lee’s Alligator Pie collection. To celebrate the 40th anniversary “of the beloved classic poem”, this board book format brings the titular poem to life. Sandy Nichols' whimsical illustrations add to the nonsensical poem, elaborating on the story. In this version, it is two children who manage to steal away a slice of pie, a bowl of stew, and the entire pot of soup from an alligator. Using ingenious, and very Canadian, methods to trick the alligator out of the soup, the pictures tell a story beyond the already catchy rhythm and rhyme of the poem, itself.

internal art     The pattern of the rhyme is what makes it ideal for the very young. In truth, many people older than the intended age range will enjoy the book, whether it’s from a sense of nostalgia or for the lovely illustrations. Done as line drawings and enhanced by watercolour painting, the predominant colour is the green of the alligator’s scales. It carries through the entire book, and each of the items mentioned in the poem is highlighted by being done in more vibrant watercolours. The contrast against the white background makes it perfect for babies and toddlers to focus on while still working for the more mature readers.

     Parents who grew up chanting “Alligator Pie” will gobble up this new edition with as much enthusiasm as the children in the book slurped up the alligator’s soup!

Highly Recommended.

Barb Janicek is a Children’s Librarian with Kitchener Public Library, in Kitchener, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

Next Review | Table of Contents for This Issue - February 13, 2015.

CM Home
| Back Issues | Search | CM Archive | Profiles Archive