Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
Snip Snap! What's That?

Snip Snap! What's That?

Spring 2005 Picture Books
Ages: 1 - 5 yrs.
By: Mara Bergman
Illustrator: Nick Maland
ISBN: 0-06-077754-0
Hardcover Price: $15.99
This story of three children - Marissa, Eva, and Jonathon - and a very large alligator begins with an intriguing question: "When the alligator came creeping ... creeping ... creeping up the stairs were the children scared?'' The answer? "YOU BET THEY WERE!" Author Bergman continues this pattern, creating a playful rhythm that builds suspense as the reader anticipates each question and response. Maland's illustrations present the three children in a simple, cartoon style, focusing on their changing facial expressions as they react to the situation. Meanwhile, the alligator moves across the pages, revealed bit by bit as a shadow on the wallpaper, a tail slinking up the stairs, or eyes peeking through the mail slot, until the creature's menacing and smiling face is exposed in a two-page illustration. The text energetically mirrors the alligator's actions as it creeps, snips, snaps, slithers, slips, swishes, swooshes, flicks, kicks, and creaks. Having had enough of the alligator, the children gather their courage, shouting: "ALLIGATOR YOU GET OUT!" The reader is asked, was the alligator scared? Naturally, young readers will anticipate the answer: "YOU BET IT WAS!"
Toni Rowden   ©2005 Parents' Choice

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