Perfect Picture Book Friday – Hooray For Amanda And Her Alligator

Yippee-aye-oh-ky-yay!  It’s Friday!  And you know what that means 🙂

I have a totally fun book to share today.  It reminds me, just in a vague way, of Frog And Toad by Arnold Lobel which are some of my favorite stories ever.

Title: Hooray For Amanda And Her Alligator!
Written & Illustrated By: Mo Willems
Balzer & Bray, April 2011, Fiction

Suitable For Ages: 4-8

Themes/Topics: friendship, reading is fun

Opening: “Amanda was at the library getting books for the week.
Her aligator was not.
He was waiting for Amanda to get back.
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 comes home we will have fun, thought Alligator.
Maybe she will have a surprise for me!
Alligator smiled.

Brief Synopsis:  Amanda and Alligator are best friends.  They love to surprise each other.  Sometimes the surprises are more surprising than others.  One day Amanda brings home a special surprise that may not be too welcome… and the result is another surprise!

Links To Resources: HERE is a great list of fun friendship activities based on the book; this blog has a quick review of the book, but scroll down a bit and there are some wonderful suggestions for activities.

Why I Like This Book: It’s subtitled “6 1/2 surprising stories about 2 surprising friends.”  It stars a stuffed alligator… who sometimes wears his Old Thinking Cap 🙂  It champions the idea that “books beat boredom.”  It’s by Mo Willems!  Really – what’s not to like? 🙂  Although it is technically a picture book, it is also almost an early reader and thus makes a great transition book – first listen, then read alone.  And the stories are charming and sweet and fun.  For example, when Alligator feels sad because he was in the sale bucket for 7 cents because no one wanted to buy him, Amanda tells him no one wanted to buy him because they knew he was meant to be her best friend 🙂

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

Now then.  After the haircut debacle, some people asked for photos.  I really don’t like photos of myself.  I try not to get within range of a camera if I can possibly think of a reason to be elsewhere.  But I love you.  So here you go.  Just remember that I’m one of those people who is best photographed from a distance… like the moon… but since I had to take the after photo myself I couldn’t get that far away.  Shield your eyes 🙂

I borrowed this from Joanna – that’s me, Emma and her – I’m the shortest one 🙂
That’s the most recent “before” I have

and here’s the after – just GAK on so many levels

I hope you’re happy now!  (And yeah, I may have exaggerated a bit about the earlobe length, but it IS way too short for a ponytail!)

Now.  Let’s put that horror behind us, shall we?  I have something fun to tell you!

But I think it will have to wait for Monday.  Because I’m in the middle of thinking up a hare-brained scheme to go with it.  A kind of a contest maybe, methinks.  Or something.  I’m still pondering… Feel free to make suggestions of what you feel like doing and what prize you’d like to win in the comments!

So see you Monday!

Have a great weekend everyone!

And PPBF bloggers, please add your post-specific links to the list below! 🙂

49 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – Hooray For Amanda And Her Alligator

  1. patientdreamer says:

    Hi, Wow, I'm first today. Love your book Choice Susanna and like you said, “what's not to like when Mo Willems is involved.”
    Your hair looks great, girl! I usually cut mine short (like that) for the winter as in the summer keeping it long means I can have it up and stay cool. Often in a pony tail too. Great photos btw.
    Interesting about Monday…. mmm! 😉

  2. Sue Heavenrich says:

    an alligator with a thinking cap? OK – now I've gotta read it! how could I not have seen this book – as you say, Mo Willems!

  3. Angela Brown says:

    Your aversion to the camera isn't necessary. you look great 🙂

    Like the PPBF choice. Amanda and Alligator sound like they have some great adventures together, especially with his aversion to patience.

    Have a great weekend 🙂

  4. Joanna Marple says:

    This is my third favorite of Mo's books – super sweet! Well now, I do get that she chopped off a lot and it's a shock, but I also think you look great with it that length!

    Can't wait for Monday!

  5. Julie Rowan-Zoch says:

    I love the early/easy readers from Willems, but who doesn't. I esp. like the kid-size voice, 'I am no good at waiting.' And Susanna, if you are going to use a 'new' word in describing your new haircut, it is customary in the kid-lit world to use it 'just so' in context that we might decipher the meaning. But that word does not sound like 'perfect-length-to-frame-my-face-and-bring-out-my stunning-blue-eyes' to me. Tsk, tsk! I had imagined a dutch boy from the paint can length when you described it on Wednesday too – which might also have looked nice, but I think this length suits you very well!

  6. Wendy Greenley says:

    Your hair is adorable, but I totally get what you mean about not being practical. The prices we pay for beauty… And I'm interested to see this Mo Willems book. It reminds me of “Edwina” which had more text and I enjoyed that.

  7. nrhatch says:

    Ooh . . . I have an idea! While you wait for your hair to grow long enough for pony tails . . . dredlocks. You'd look so RAD on all these college trips if you looked like you'd been jammin' with Marley. Ya Mon!

    No worries, mon. Everyt'ing gone be alright.

  8. Cathy Ballou Mealey says:

    Oh Susanna, you are such a good sport to post your photos! I've always found there's never a trim so severe that a healthy dose of fudgy chocolate cake can't fix!
    Mo's books are consistently funny and sweet. I'm glad you highlighted this one!

  9. mike allegra says:

    Mo Willems has a certain something. An “I trust he will be able to pull it off” quality. This perception of mine has never been challenged, so I look forward to getting a copy of “Amanda.”

    Oh. And if I may switch gears for a moment, your hair ain't that bad.

    As for your contest, I don't care what you ask of me, but I do wanna chance to win a copy of anything Phyllis!

  10. clarbojahn says:

    You sneaky sneaky sneak, you. 🙂 making us wait till Monday to see what hair brained idea ( which we usually love ) you have for us.

    Love Mo Willems and I have to find this book.

    Love the haircut as well. Thanks for the photo. 🙂

  11. Teresa Robeson says:

    Susanna, you are SO adorable!! I know you think it's too short of a haircut, but I think it looks great on you! I've not heard of this Mo Willem's book but it reminded me of one of my favorite books (Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile…okay, different Order) so I'll have to check it out! Have a great weekend!

  12. genevieve says:

    I'm 2 thumbs up on the haircut. It is cute and perky on you!! I am GROWING my hair so it'll be LONG enough for a pixie like Kellie Pickler on Dancing With the Stars. Yeah. It's too short for a pixie…..

  13. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh, gosh! Now I'm dying to know what your first and second favorites are! And thank you for being sweet about my hair 🙂 I'm looking forward to Monday too. I wonder what the heck I'll think up? I hope something! 🙂


  14. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I know, Catherine, it was such fun! I want to meet everybody. I think my next hare-brained scheme is going to be a kidlit writer blogger reunion. We'll pick a convenient middle location and then all come there and get to meet each other in person. Wouldn't that be so much fun?


  15. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    There is something so charming about Amanda and Alligator. I decided a few minutes ago while replying to someone else that this book really reminds me of George And Martha by James Marshall, which I love! I'm still mulling over what to do for my contest/game…. decisions, decisions… but if you win I'll give you anything Phyllis you want 🙂


  16. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    I am a bit sneaky 🙂 But that's not what this is about completely… I really haven't made up my mind what to do yet. I'm trying to think of something you guys will have fun doing. Oh, the pressure! 🙂


  17. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    You are being very sweet about my hair, Teresa, thank you! 🙂 And I LOVE Lyle!!!!! My kids adored him too. We read those books over and over. How have I not done one of them for PPBF yet?! I love saying Hector P. Valenti, star of stage and screen 🙂


  18. Laura Anne Miller says:

    Inner beauty outshines any hairstyle…and I had to put on 2 pairs of sunglasses to look at the new chic you! 🙂 I had to dash off this morning so I'm just now getting around to PPBF hopping. 'Amanda' sounds fun. And I realized I had forgotten to link with Emily Gravett's website – so I updated. She even has a hand drawn DOG MATCH GAME that can be printed out. I keep it in my purse and my grands and I have played it many times.

  19. Patricia Tilton says:

    Love Mo Willems. Haven't read this one. Love his simplicity. This sounds like a fun read for kids.

    And, I like your haircut. It's very professional. Change is good!:) Am going on vacation, so I will only submit one review while gone.

  20. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Now you're just making stuff up, Laura – two pairs of sunglasses! 🙂 The dog match game sounds fun! I hope it was listed in your resources – I can't remember. Is it like Memory/Concentration?


  21. Vivian Kirkfield says:

    Love this story, Susanna! And I love your hair…they actually say you should cut your hair several inches every once in a while…it helps keep it healthy. 🙂
    And, like Pat, I may not be able to post next Friday…I'll be holding a sweet little baby. 🙂 But, if I can, I will!

  22. Cally Jackson says:

    This book sounds delightful. I love how Amanda makes Alligator feel better. And I actually think your hair looks great. You know what they say – you're your own worst critic!

  23. Rhythm says:

    That Mo Willems can sure put out a great story! My princesses love love love his books. And this story sounds pretty special. Kind of like Calvin and Hobbes? I'll have to check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  24. pennyklostermann says:

    Cute!!! You look cute, Susanna! I see what you mean about the pony tail, but until it grows out, enjoy your new look…really adorable!

    I love this book! Love! Mo Willems just knows how to tell a great story. What talent!

    How fun to be with Emma and Joanna!

    Hair-brained??? Oops! I had “hair” on my mind when I committed that typo! I meant hare-brained??? Oh boy!

  25. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Aw shucks, Penny, you're just being nice! But I appreciate it 🙂 Isn't Mo awesome? I love this book. And hair-brained or hare-brained, I haven't got it figured out yet, and I'm running out of time! Contest/game ideas welcome!!! (So that I may twist them to my requirements! :))


  26. Susanna Leonard Hill says:

    Oh, golly! Lucky you! You know how they make all those scented candles? They should do one of new baby 🙂 Glad you like the book, and thanks for being nice about my hair – I should get a good health boost out of this cut 🙂


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