Later, Gator!

Later, Gator! illus. by Erik Brooks. 40p. Sterling. Jul. 2016. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781454918165.
PreS-Gr 2-Brooks describes the experience of Gator, who must say good-bye to his old friends when he moves to a new neighborhood. Gator misses his friends, but when they write him letters that make him smile, he is encouraged to introduce himself to the new neighbors he sees playing outside. The familiar plot is sure to provide comfort to any kid going through a similar situation. Many of the lines in the book are plays on the phrase, "See you later, alligator; in a while, crocodile." Young readers will find humor in the rhymes that Gator makes up for each of his animal friends. The watercolor illustrations are delicate and detailed and add to the sweet, gentle tone of the book. One especially endearing set of illustrations shows Gator in the snow wearing earmuffs and a scarf as he introduces himself to new friends. The front inside cover features repeating illustrations of Gator playing with his old friends, while the back inside cover shows repeating illustrations of Gator playing with his new friends.
VERDICT Though the plot is a common one in children's books, Brooks's endearing characters and illustrations make this book stand out. A fun read-aloud and storytime selection for most children's collections, especially those with a transient patron base.-Celia Dillon, The Brearley School, New York

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