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*Gator* by Randy Cecil
Also illustrated and/or written by Randy Cecil:

Looking for a Moose

by Randy Cecil
Ages 3-8 40 pages Candlewick March 2007 Hardcover    

Gator loves his life and his established residence on a carousel, where a steady stream of children sit upon him as the amusement ride is set into motion. Gator especially enjoys his circular route alongside his friend the duck, who shares in his delight.

One day, after it becomes evident that the usual crowds are dwindling, Gator makes the heart-wrenching decision to leave the safety of his home to seek a new adventure. As he embarks on his journey, he comes across real ducks that look incredibly similar to his friend the duck on the carousel who rode beside him on the carousel for such a long time. He also sees alligators that look like him but do not appear to be very friendly and that he doubts would fit into his former carousel community.

As Gator begins to ponder how much he misses his former life, his depressing thoughts are interrupted by the familiar sound of laughter so prevalent in his carousel days. He immediately recognizes that it is coming from the young children whose father recognizes Gator from his previous home. Upon this realization, Gatorís personality began to re-emerge; he feels compelled to return to the carousel and, to his delight, all the laughing children follow him without hesitation.

Gator is a sweet book for children of all ages, especially those who love carousels and have vibrant imaginations.

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  Lori West/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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