Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Gator by Randy Cecil
Gator is a carousel alligator who goes through some life changes. At first, he is on the carousel, surrounded by lights, color, and, his favorite thing, laughter. But, times change, and people quit coming to the amusement park and the laughter fades. After a deep sleep, he decides to leave the carousel and go out into the world. He comes to a deep, dark forest, a bridge, a zoo, and eventually finds himself on a bench, tired and lonely. A little boy and his father, who used to ride Gator when he was young, come upon Gator and end up following him back to the old carousel, which suddenly springs to life and is filled with children, all laughing. While I enjoyed Cecil's illustrations, except for Gator's head never being down unless he's crying, I found the text somewhat disjointed. The fact that Gator walks through a deep, dark forest does nothing for the plot of the story. His encounter with real alligators at the zoo is quite anti-climatic since the real ones sleep right through it. The bridge episode is the only meaningful event on Gator's travel because he learns something from actual experience. Since it's the best part of the book, I won't give it away. You'll just have to read Gator and Yes, it's worth one read.