An Alligator's Hide or Just Come Clean
by Adrienne Harrell

"Lily comes in the room. She has on a hula skirt and lei around her neck. She is dancing."

Lily the Alligator is perhaps an unusual household pet that plays with the children and hangs around during family picnics. But she is still very friendly and not a hazard to anyone, even the energetic dog Hiram. During a game of hide and seek, Lily is discovered by a policeman who has a warrant for the alligator’s arrest. Her family pleads for Lily to stay with them, to which the policeman responds that he will turn a blind eye for now. However, if Lily’s rightful owners come looking for her, he’ll have to take her away. Later, the family is getting ready for dinner, with Grandpa and Grandma coming over along with cousins and even the policeman from earlier. When Lily’s owners also stop by, Lily may have to say goodbye to her family.

The author responsibly warns all young readers at the end of the book that Lily is a bit of a special case as far as alligators go, but her fun-loving and carefree attitude could help young readers fall in love with the animal. Every time the page turns, there is a page of text and a full-color illustration to accompany it, displaying the mischief and entertainment that the characters are involved in. While this book serves mostly to entertain rather than educate children, there are strong messages of family togetherness and inclusiveness, whether you’re young, old, dog, or alligator. Full of whimsy and the unexpected, this book should have children laughing as they follow along with Lily and her family and maybe make them less likely to judge a person (or alligator) by its cover.

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