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Snip Snap!: What's That? Hardcover – April 12, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–A wide-mouthed alligator slithers out of the sewer and slips down the street and up the stairs of an apartment house. The refrain sets the stage: "Were the children scared? YOU BET THEY WERE!" They try to stop the advancing reptile, but to no avail. Oversized fonts fill the pages with the "snip snapping" of its jaws. The watercolor-and-photocopied drawings show an aerial perspective of the siblings hiding behind a palm tree and underneath a piano. Suspense builds to a dramatic wordless close-up of the green beast's face. Finally, instead of cowering, the children decide "they'd had enough," and shout, "ALLIGATOR, YOU GET OUT!" The surprised (and frightened) intruder stumbles away and tumbles back down a manhole. Children will enjoy the onomatopoeic devices, and brave voices will chime in on this slightly scary read-aloud.– Linda Ludke, London Public Library, Ontario, Canada
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. In this offbeat fantasy, an alligator makes his way down the street, through the front door, up the stairs, and into an apartment where three children flee from his gaping jaws. Finally, when they have endured the threat--or perhaps enjoyed the thrill--long enough, they turn the tables by yelling at the beast, who runs away. Using elements of rhythm and rhyme as well as an enjoyably predictable question-and-answer refrain, the text maintains a playful tone beneath the scary details such as alligator eyes flashing and teeth gnashing. Expressive line drawings, brightened with watercolor washes, illustrate the story with wit and style. Not for every preschooler, perhaps, but good fun for some, especially those who fantasize that they really could whip an alligator and those who realize that their home will never be invaded by a giant reptile. The final scene, in which the beast escapes into a manhole, might keep the alligators-in-the-sewer urban legend alive for another generation. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 360L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (April 12, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060777540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060777548
  • Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 0.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,185 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Checked 'Snip Snap' out of our local library and the kids loved it so much that I had to order one of our own. I have a 5 year old and a young 2 year old, and they both love it. The second I am done reading they emplore, "Again!" As a parent I appreciate the empathetic handling of fear and the way the children stand up to the aligator together. The illustrations are lively and humorous. I have given it as a gift already, and will again.
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Format: Hardcover
So there you are, three kids alone in a lovely apartment in the city. What could possibly go wrong? Plenty! Especially when the alligator from the sewers decides to invade your home! This delightful funny/scary picture book is a welcome addition to my read aloud favorites.

This book solved one of my biggest dilemmas, which is first graders. First graders are getting too old for the really young picture books, but they also aren't quite ready for the more wordy picture books you might use with third and fourth graders. Snip! Snap! What's That? Is a perfect fit. The premise is that an alligator creeps into the apartment where three children live and proceeds to scare them. The alligator chases after them for most of the story, until the children decide they have enough, and scare the alligator instead--sending it back home to the sewer. The text is simple, but poetically descriptive, and the best part is the repeating lines. "Were the children scared?" and "You bet they were!". Your listeners won't take long to latch onto the call and response participation. At these ages, audience participation is almost a must--these are kids who want to see, comment and respond to what you read to them.

This book is probably a bit much for the very young child, or one who is extremely sensitive to scary things. But many children at the age of five and six like a good scare, especially when the scare is neutralized in the end. The vocabulary might be a little over the level for some first graders, but some discussion can help them understand the word meanings easily enough. The illustrations fit marvelously well with this story: it's told in a more comic book style, with a variety of panel sizes, and the text intertwining into the pictures on occasion.
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Format: Hardcover
Being allowed to read this book to kindergarteners, first graders and second graders is SO MUCH FUN, I can't believe I am getting paid to do it.

From the title page to the first page of the story, we follow a path of footprints from an open man-hole cover, down the street into the lobby of an apartment building. When we look closely at the two page spread we can see a green tail disappearing up the stairs from the lobby.

"When the alligator came creeping . . . creeping . . . creeping up the stairs..."

Three children try to keep an alligator from coming into their home but can only run and hide as he breaches the doorway. As the alligator draws closer and closer the story repeatedly asks, "Where the children scared?" and answers with a resounding, "YOU BET THEY WERE!"

As the alligator's tongue is flicking and his feet are kicking, listeners enjoy becoming delightfully scared as the beast draws closer and closer. I was cracking up watching the kids hide their eyes or cling to each other as the menace approaches.

An empowering ending delightfully deals with the gator. Nick Maland's quirky illustrations perfectly convey the danger and help build the suspense. A two page close up of the alligator's head brings the peril right up to the reader's face.

This was a fantastic read-aloud. I just wish I had had an alligator puppet to accompany the story.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
One of my kids favorite books. The drama of an alligator in your house snapping his jaws. Great suspense and a very fun read. My kids wanted to give this as a gift for a baby shower. Shows how much they love it!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
bought this for a friend's son for his bday.....loved it so much i ended up buying a copy for my kids. they love it. especially the repetitive responses in the book that the kids and shout out ("YOU BET THEY WERE!"). :-)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite books to read to my class. They get so excited when they finally come face to face with the Alligator. I have read this book so many times over the years that this is my second copy.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wonderful book! First saw this when we borrowed it from the library in Camden, Australia. My almost 2 year old grandson loved the story!! His very favorite of all the books! I had to order it when I got home so that it would be here for him when he comes home! Now all my grandchildren love it! They love chiming in -- 'You bet they were!'
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Format: Hardcover
great book, very fun, rent it from the public library once, and for the two weeks I had it at home my son made me read it for him every night, so I had to read a new book followed by this book every night, in the end I had to buy it so I can have it at home to read it to my son whenever he wants.
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