Definitely one my favorite picture books of the year, and not just because it stars an alligator (although that helps). Why? Well, it's got Snappsy, a charming (and misunderstood) alligator who wears a tie. It breaks the fourth wall, with Snappsy often directly addressing the narrator who tends to misrepresent him throughout the book -- a book Snappsy never wanted to be in in the first place. It has fun illustrations, funny and engaging language, and just the right amount of absurdism. And it uses all those elements to cleverly arrive at a message about friendship and inclusivity in a natural, satisfying way. All around, a winner in my book.
Mild-mannered, necktie-wearing Snappsy the alligator is deeply offended. He's just trying to go about his day, but a "rude narrator" keeps intruding, misinterpreting Snappsy's feelings (he doesn't need a nap, he's just hungry!) or accusing him of sinister intent (he's not hunting for "soft, fuzzy bunnies," he just buying groceries!). Readers will snicker as the clever interplay between the narration and Snappsy's speech-bubble protests becomes more and more heated, until the beleaguered alligator finally throws a party to draw out the elusive narrator…whose identity provokes a last laugh. Deadpan cartoon illustrations balance the off-the-wall humor of this metafictional tale.
Snappsy is just going about his business when a pesky narrator turns his day into a story. This is a hilarious little book that manages to explain story conventions like narrators, rising action, illustrations, etc. and then expertly turns them on their head to create something silly and wonderful. This one is fun for kids and grown ups!
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