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Alligator baby

Publication Information:
New York : Scholastic Inc., 1997.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 cm
A little girl takes matters into her own hands after her brother is accidentally born in a zoo and her parents repeatedly bring home the wrong baby.
Added Author:


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On Order



When Kristen's parents get lost on their way to the hospital, her baby brother is born at the zoo. In their confusion, her parents bring back a baby alligator. They go back to exchange the baby, but end up bringing home a baby seal, and then a baby monkey. Only when Kristen decides to take matters into her own hands does she finally get to meet her real baby brother. Text copyright 2004 Lectorum Publications, Inc.

Author Notes

Robert Munsch was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on June 11, 1945. He received an undergraduate degree in history and a master's degree in anthropology. While studying to be a Jesuit priest, he worked part-time at an orphanage. He decided he liked working with children and left the Jesuits after 7 years to work in a daycare center. He studied for a year at the Elliot Pearson School of Child Studies at Tufts University. He ended up at a lab preschool at the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario and eventually became a Canadian citizen.

While working at a daycare center and telling stories to children, he realized that storytelling was what he loved to do and eventually he started writing the stories down. His first published title was Mud Puddle. He has written over 50 books including Love You Forever, Mortimer, Angela's Airplane, Andrew's Loose Tooth, Stephanie's Ponytail, Moira's Birthday, and Put Me in a Book.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2‘Kristen's baby brother is born at a zoo instead of a hospital. Her overwrought parents repeatedly bring home the wrong infant‘first an alligator, then a seal, then a monkey. Finally, brave Kristen takes off on her bike and locates the misplaced "people baby." Thanks to the brave, smart big sister, the babies get sorted out, "And everything was okay...until Kristen's mother had twins." Storytime audiences will cackle as Kristen examines each baby, pointing out the animal parts (claws, flippers, tails, etc.) that convince her none of these creatures is her new brother. The silliness escalates in the ebullient watercolor illustrations. Kristen's mother tosses hair curlers out the car window on the first trip to the zoo, leaving her hair to twist wildly for the rest of the story. The animal youngsters have a grand time visiting the humans' house. The seal balances shampoo on its nose while it plays in the bathtub; the monkey swings from the chandelier. Refreshingly different from most "new baby" stories.‘Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

The creators of The Paper Bag Princess here introduce a quick-witted heroine, Kristen, who notices that the newborn baby her dizzy parents proudly bring home isn't human at all. In on the silly joke, readers know that the couple, in their haste to get to the hospital, had made a wrong turn into the zoo. Attempting to retrieve their infant, Kristen's folks twice bring back additional animal babies, and each time Kristen insists, "That is not my baby brother!" and her mother replies, "Now, Kristen, don't be jealous." Finally the girl takes it upon herself to bicycle to the zoo and claim her new sibling from the arms of a "mommy gorilla." Martchenko's exaggerated cartoons are responsible for much of the tale's cheerful slapstick: they show a diaper-clad infant monkey swinging from a chandelier, a baby seal splashing happily in the bathtub while balancing a shampoo bottle on its nose and the heroic Kristen, flashlight strapped to helmet, pedaling home with her ebullient sibling in her bike basket. The animated repetition and general goofiness make this a fine read-aloud for preschoolers. Ages 3-6. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

This energetic spoof of new-sibling stories has Kristen's parents winding up at the zoo instead of the hospital and unknowingly coming home with a bouncing--make that biting--baby alligator instead of Kristen's new brother. The cartoon illustrations include many hilarious details as they follow the parents' bungled attempts to bring home the right infant, leading Kristen to finally step in and put things right. From HORN BOOK 1997, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.