Introducing Planet Silas' April 09 book of the month:
Gator by Randy Cecil.
Note: There is a companion book to Gator called Duck. Duck will be the botm in May so stay tuned for more on that book. For now, if you think you might want to buy Gator, do yourself a favor and buy both. Seriously.
Gator is a wooden carousel animal who sadly witnesses the demise of the amusement park his carousel is part of, until one day, the park closes it's gates. After a long sleep, Gator decides it's time to step off of the abandoned carousel to see what else the world has to offer.
This book (and Duck, too) evokes such empathy from its readers. You truly feel for Gator and the other carousel animals when people stop taking interest in them. There's a "hole in Gator's heart where the carousel pole used to be." And in Silas' words "park closing, Gator sad." I don't mean to say this book is depressing; only that it covers the spectrum of emotion in a way that creates a main character who is alive and tangible, despite the fact that he is a wooden carousel creature. Silas really responds to Gator's character and has started calling his wooden toy crocodile "Gator." (There's time to learn the difference between an alligator and a crocodile later, right?)
It's safe to say that we love Gator, and that this book is an absolute treasure. And, okay, I'll say it again, check out Duck too, because, while Gator is well deserving of botm status and might be Silas' personal favorite, Duck is mine. Duck might be the best picture book ever. Seriously.
6 years ago