Reviews for Three Little Gators

Booklist Reviews 2009 May #1
The creators of Armadilly Chili (2004), a Texas slant on the "Little Red Hen," are back with an adaptation of the "Three Little Pigs" set in an east Texas swamp. To protect themselves from the Big-bottomed Boar, the alligators build their houses with the usual materials (rocks, sticks, and sand). Encountering the sand house, the Big-bottomed Boar follows through on his threat to "wiggle my rump with a bump, bump, bump and smash your house!" The result: "Sand flew everywhere" while the Little Gator escapes "faster than a fox after a muskrat" to the stick house, and so on. Loaded with plenty of outlandish action from the bug-eyed, cartoonish characters rendered in glimmering colors, this would make a rip-roaring group read-aloud. Pair this with one of the many more traditional versions of the tale or use an adaptation such as The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark by Ken Geist (2007) or The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell (1992). Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2009 March #2
What if the Big Bad Wolf was actually a Big-bottomed Boar; and the Three Little Pigs...? When her three young 'uns are old enough, Mama Gator sends them off into the world with a warning to watch out for that Big-bottomed Boar: "Tasty, tender gators are his favorite snack." The adventurous little gators build their three houses of rocks, sticks and sand, respectively. Third Gator is awakened by the snurfing and snorting of the Boar, whose sharp tusks and close-set eyes look truly terrifying. He wiggles his rump ("with a bump, bump, bump") and makes short work of the sand house. Likewise the stick house, but the stone house presents a challenge, prompting the Boar to make the mistake of trying its chimney. Ketteman's text is lean and serviceable, with country-isms and onomatopoeia lending well to reading aloud. The book's chief attraction, however, is Terry's hilarious illustrations. His funny gators have distinct personalities, and the picture of the Boar stuck in the chimney is inspired. Brisk fun. (Picture book. 3-6) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews
Readers-particularly from the Lone Star State-who can't get enough of the original Three Little Pigs may enjoy this Texan transformation from the team behind Armadilly Chili. Ketteman's story features three gap-toothed young gators who outwit the Big-bottomed Boar, but the tag lines are not quite as memorable as the original wolf's huffing and puffing. When he's refused entry to the gators' houses, the boar threatens, "Then I'll wiggle my rump with a bump, bump, bump and smash your house!" The neon gators are differentiated only by a straw hat, a baseball cap, and a pair of glasses (which naturally belong to the smartest gator, who builds his house out of rocks). Ketteman adds a subtle-if somewhat didactic-message about sloth by having the gators scorn each others' building materials ("Bad choice.... Rocks are heavy and too much work"). Still, folksy details in both text ("Third Gator ran faster than a fox after a muskrat") and art (a bottle of boar sauce sits next to the fireplace, as the boar earns some grill marks) should entertain. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

School Library Journal Reviews 2009 June

K-Gr 3--This version of the familiar story is set deep in the east Texas swamp. Three little gators set off on their own, leaving their mama, who warns them to be careful of the Big-bottomed Boar. And when they build their flimsy houses, readers will know what to expect. But Ketteman's retelling, including a sassy Texas twang, makes the story hilarious and bright. Add in a catchy chorus, repeated each time the Big-bottomed Boar comes visiting, and readers will be chiming in on cue. "Then I'll wiggle my rump with a bump, bump, bump and smash your house!" Terry's illustrations work well with the story. The colors are vibrant yet ominous and swampy. The textures are also wonderful, from the smoothness of gator hide and graininess of the swamp sand to the hairiness of the ugly boar. A fun choice for libraries and classrooms.--Susan E. Murray, Glendale Public Library, AZ

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