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Children's Literature @ NYPL
Booktalking "Alligator Wedding" by Nancy Jewell
Where the alligators slither and slide
on a warm summer night
when the moon was bright
an alligator took a bride.
The book is full of alligator things. The pair of alligators was married in the marshy glades, and the bride had a cobweb veil and a scaly green paw. The couple invited crocodiles, turtles, birds and rats to their wedding feast. The groom ate half of the cake, fed to him by his bride on a rake. They dance the "Reptile Romp" and the "Swampland Stomp" in the swamp. The bride tossed a craw fish bouquet to her guests, and the alligators ended up engaging in one of their favorite activities on their honeymoon: swimming.
I love the vivid illustrations in this book, especially the darling cover illustration, where the alligators make a heart together with their tails. The book is fun, energetic, and sassy.
I learned a lot about wildlife by watching the charismatic Steve Irwin and The Crocodile Hunter TV show. He and his wife Terri owned Australia Zoo. Steve had a great personality and cared deeply about animals. I was quite saddened when he was killed by a stingray in 2006. I learned from him that crocodiles are much more aggressive than alligators and that you can tell them apart by the width of their snouts (alligators have wider snouts). Also, alligators are more likely to be in fresh water, but they do go in salt water. Crocodiles can live in either salt water or fresh water.