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The Alligator & The Ducklings by Michael J. Collins, José Ramírez , Jaimie Hope

Updated on December 19, 2015

Disclaimer

I was sent a free copy of The Alligator & The Ducklings by Michael J. Collins (Author), José Ramírez (Illustrator), Jaimie Hope (Editor) in exchange only for my honest and unbiased review of The Alligator & The Ducklings by Michael J. Collins (Author), José Ramírez (Illustrator), Jaimie Hope (Editor).

Most people would agree that ducklings are cute. If you’re an alligator, you also think they look delicious. Will the mean alligator feast on the baby ducks or will the animals and townspeople stop him? Read this timeless tale of bullying and nature to find out.

— Michael J. Collins

Review

As I wrote at the top of this hub: "I was sent a free copy of The Alligator & The Ducklings by Michael J. Collins (Author), José Ramírez (Illustrator), Jaimie Hope (Editor) in exchange only for my honest and unbiased review of The Alligator & The Ducklings by Michael J. Collins (Author), José Ramírez (Illustrator), Jaimie Hope (Editor)."

As many of you already know from my previous posts I am an after school counselor at an elementary school. Recently I have begun to work with a special needs group where the children are of different ages. I always enjoy getting children's books for review because I enjoy finding new books to read with my children at work.

I was interested in this book because it seemed to focus on the topic of bullying in a manner that a child could understand. I liked the idea of creating a fictional story with animals to broach the bullying topic. I particularly liked the idea of this because so often what bullying is ends up being misunderstood. I lost count of the number of times I get told by a child that they are being bullied only to discover upon investigation that the conflict is not one side nor is it a repeated thing. Normally it is just two friends who need a bit of a break from each other.

Amazon lists the recommended reading age as seven to ten years old and the grade level as three to five. Before reading the book this surprised me because I thought the book was intended for younger children as older children don't normally read picture books with cartoon animals. However after reading the book I feel that the recommendations are spot on because of the violence in the book. I expected the book to have the birds ganging up on the alligator and getting him to stop being a bully using words or by telling an adult. Instead this book shows birds, reptiles, and people attacking the alligator. At one point there is a reference to poking his eyes out. People throw stones at him and beat him with sticks. While to book does have a happy ending that does not negate the level of violence in this book.

I have to say that I would NEVER read this book to children nor offer it to them as it sends a bad message. The book pretty much says that those being bullied should fight back or get others to fight the bully physically for them. That is a bad message to send while bullying is WRONG that does not mean violence should be done back on the bully. The situation should be fixed with words or an adult should be sought. I am not saying that someone being attacked should not defend themselves, but I am not sure that the readers of this book would be able to distinguish from the two.

That aside the book was well written and the pictures were cute I just wish the topic would have been approached from a different angle. I would not recommend this book to any child ever.

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