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Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator! Hardcover – April 26, 2011

47 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“Amusing and heartwarming, it will leave Willems’s fans totally satisfied.” (School Library Journal (starred review))

“Six and a half short stories make up this expertly paced page-turner about a girl and her toy alligator, laced with the kid-centric humor on which Willems has built his career. ” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“The pacing, word volume and wide trim size are all inviting and encouraging, bringing readers close to the cozy friendship between Amanda and her impatient stuffed friend. ” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“Willems knows how to keep things interesting and his audience engaged.” (Horn Book (starred review))

“Willems may not have the market cornered on best friends, but few do them better.” (ALA Booklist)

“This is a perfect stealth early reader, a story that will begin as a chapter-by-chapter readaloud and then get converted by the audience when experience and determination make it time to fly solo. ” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)

About the Author

Mo Willems knows a Good Idea when he sees one. A three-time Caldecott Honor winner (for Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Knuffle Bunny, and Knuffle Bunny Too), he also won two Geisel Medals and two Geisel Honors for his Elephant and Piggie books. His books are perennial New York Times bestsellers, including Knuffle Bunny Free, Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator!, and the Cat the Cat series. Before he turned to making picture books, Mo was a writer and animator on Sesame Street, where he won six Emmys. Mo lives with his family in Massachusetts.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 360L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray; First Edition edition (April 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006200400X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062004000
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,477 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kansas Mom on July 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Hooray for Amanda and Her Alligator is another of Willems' hits. When I first read it on my own, I thought it was just all right. But when I read it with my 3-year-old, I could see the subtly of the humor. The names of Amanda's library books are a riot. And the page when she's reading 'You can make it yourself: Jet Packs'... well, alligator is downright hilarious. My daughter laughed until she hiccuped as we reread that page over and over. She now walks around the house saying that page from memory when she's bored.

This is a simple, delightful book. Two thumbs up.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luv2Read2Kids on December 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've read the negative or lukewarm reviews of this book and I have to say, "Give me a break!". I mean come on, here's a man always creating something new and wonderful for kids and everyone has to pigeon-hole him (pun intended) to what he did before.

Mo Willems is a treasure to young readers. My sons have all his Piggie and Gerald books and we received Amanda and Her Alligator as a gift. When you are used to the humor and flow of the Piggie and Gerald books, even the Pigeon books, this reads different and it can throw you off a bit, BUT give it a chance. My sons weren't feeling it at first, but once we read through it and they got to know Amanda and her alligator, they requested it over and over - still do!

As with any beloved children's author, we get so attached to the characters they've written about a billion time in other book series that we compare any new work to established series. Amanda stands on her own merit and the short stories in here are well worth money and time to read them. I think it could be another classic series for slightly older readers if Mr. Willems decides to pursue this path. If not, leave Pigeon, Piggie and Gerald behind and read this one on its own merit. You'll be surprised how good it really is!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By NebraskaIcebergs on January 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover
If you're like me, you're probably used to picture books that are so short that they don't even have page numbers. In that case, you would probably be surprised to find a picture book to have chapters. Hurray for Amanda and Her Alligator has a chapter page, contains six stories, and clocks in at seventy pages. Yet this isn't an anthology. Rather, each story reveals a little bit more about friendship through its two title characters. For example, here is a description of alligator's reaction to Amanda being gone to the library:

I do not like it when Amanda is gone, thought alligator.
I am no good at waiting. He paced around the room. He fiddled with his tail.

When Amanda returns, she asks alligator if he wants a surprise. You might be expecting her to give him some fancy treat, but instead the surprise is just her yelling: "Boo!" Reviews of Hurray for Amanda and Her Alligator are mixed and so perhaps it helps that I am not familiar with other books by Mo Willems. Critics say that his other characters are sassy and goofy, neither of which are terms I'd use to describe Amanda and her alligator. Rather, I feel as if back in my childhood and leisurely playing house or school with my cousins. Hurray for Amanda and Her Alligator captures the ups-and-downs of friendship in a sweet and simple style.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By txteacher on April 27, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I'm a kindergarten teacher that fell in love with Mo Willems books this year, along with my class. We really like the pigeon series, we enjoyed Edwina, but we love Elephant & Piggie. I have so many Mo Willems books in my classroom library and those are the first books my students go for.. they love to read them over and over. And I do too, they are really cute and funny.

That's why I was excited to read Mo Willem's latest book, Hooray for Amanda & Her Alligator. But, for my students and I, the book fell a bit flat. The first 3 (and a half) chapters weren't really all that funny and the kids looked at me like, "um, okay?". Towards the end the book got a bit cuter and funnier and I will say that some of my students said they liked it, but most of them agreed that they liked the Elephant & Piggie books better.

All and all I'll say: Mo Willems does a great job writing a book about friendship between Amanda and her stuffed alligator, but it seems to fall in with the Cat the Cat series of books in terms of humor and enjoyment, rather than being up there with his other books. Worth reading but I don't see this being a book that we reread.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By E. Kennen on May 2, 2011
Format: Hardcover
HOORAY FOR AMANDA & HER ALLIGATOR! features 6.5 related vignettes about a young girl and her anthropomorphic stuffed animal. In his light, breezy style, Mo Willems touches on many everyday topics: boredom, surprises, disappointment, creativity, jealousy, and making friends.

My daughter and I love, love, love Mo Willems... and I sadly admit to being disappointed when I started reading this book. It was cute, but I was expecting brilliance. Things picked up during the second half of the book, though, and we had some laugh-out-loud moments (guess what alligators do when they're bored!) And, of course, everything was illustrated in Willem's deceptively simple and completely engaging style.

My assessment changed a bit the second time I read it (probably because my expectations changed quite a bit): While it's not Willem's crowning achievement, this IS funny, sweet, goofy, and endearing enough that I hope it is the first of many books about Amanda and her alligator.
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