________________ CM . . . . Volume XIX Number 10. . . .November 9, 2012


Alligator Pie.

Dennis Lee. Illustrated by Frank Newfeld.
Toronto, ON: HarperCollins, 1974/2012.
64 pp., hardcover, $19.99.
ISBN 978-1-44341-151-6.
Preschool and up / Ages 3 and up.

Review by Meredith Cleversey.

**** /4



Mississauga rattlesnakes
Eat brown bread.
Mississauga rattlesnakes
Fall down dead.
If you catch a caterpillar
Feed him apple juice;
But if you catch a rattlesnake
Turn him loose!


Alligator Pie, written by Dennis Lee, is a classic Canadian collection of poems for children. First released in 1974, and the winner of the Canadian Library Associationís Book of the Year for Children Award in 1975, this poetry collection has been recently re-released again in hard cover.

     Alligator Pie has been delighting children and their families for well over thirty years. The poems in this collection are whimsical, sometimes nonsensical, and often make references to Canadian landmarks or locations. While the poems, themselves, were written in the 1970s, and some references may be lost on the children of today (for instance, the poem "Bed Song" makes mention of Eatonís and Simpsonís department stores which no longer exist), the lighthearted spirit of the collection can still be enjoyed as much now as it was upon its first release. Sometimes, children just want to be silly, and these poems are perfectly suited to that, as a quote by Margaret Laurence on the back cover of the book describes: "You can almost hear the skipping rope slapping the sidewalks." Alligator Pie is meant to be fun, and 38 years after its original release, it continues to achieve that goal.

The re-release of this book is nearly identical to a former hardcover version of the collection. All of the original illustrations by Frank Newfeld are still included with this newest edition, and the only difference comes in the colouring of some of the pictures (for example, many of the illustrations that were previously blue are now more of a teal colour in this newest release). The poems are all still the same, and the pictures, themselves, remain the same as well. For those that own a previous edition of Alligator Pie, it is not necessary to purchase this new release. However, for those unfamiliar with the collection, or for those wanting to buy their own copy, this new edition provides the perfect opportunity to add these poems to a personal, school, or library collection.

      Alligator Pie, written by Dennis Lee with illustrations by Frank Newfeld, is a classic piece of Canadian childrenís literature. It is full of fun rhymes, whimsical ideas, and colourful illustrations, and will make an excellent addition to any childrenís library.

Highly Recommended.

Meredith Cleversey is a librarian who lives in Cambridge, ON. She loves to read, write, and live in a world of pure imagination.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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