A few years ago now my brother got a collection of Jeremy Strong books for Christmas and one of the books in the collection was "My Dad's Got an Alligator". I remember vividly reading it to him for the first time and laughing so hard that I could hardly get the words out. When I read it now the book isn't as funny but maybes that's just because I've grown up or because I know how it's going to end. Despite this I still really love the book and would highly recommend it to all children between the ages of 6 - 12 as well as to all parents and older brothers / sisters that can get way with reading it to younger children.
My Dad's Got an Alligator is based around an extremely funny family that involves Dad, Ronald, Mum, Brenda, Granny and a young boy named Nicholas. One day Dad brings home an alligator as a pet and you can probably guess that mum isn't too impressed by this.
Problems are soon sky high as the alligator takes a liking to dog food and put holes in the cans squirting them all over the kitchen ceiling. It also eats cushions and due to the fact that every time it snaps its jaws the TV channel changes it has probably eaten the TV remote too. The next door are far from pleased to as the alligator seems to have taken a liking to their pond.
To try and solve the problem for a while Dad decides they should take the alligator to a pond so that it can have a swim and so they tie him to the roof rack and off they go. Unfortunately however it isn't only the alligator that goes swimming this time and it isn't the last time he's going to try and take a dip either...
This story really is very entertaining and even when I re-read it for this review had me tittering away to myself. Jeremy Strong's writing style really does make the book extremely humorous, as what he describes is so vivid and so colourful. Although my dad hasn't brought an alligator home from work... well not yet anyway... I can still see my own family in some of the antics this family get up to and the fact that Granny is oh so deaf makes the book even funnier.
The book itself is broken down in chapters that are merely 4-5 pages look and so easily digestible for young children. The entire book is only 84 pages long and with decent sized font and a good handful of cartoon style pictures the book is a real pleasure to read. The language inside is not too complex but not too simple either making it brilliant for confident young readers as well as those who are a little bit older.
The pace of the story and the frequency of dialogue within it also make the book perfect for reading out-loud. However be warned as like me you ma find yourself laughing to hard to do so.
I can certainly sing the praises of this book as it really is a brilliant read and I would recommend it to anyone.