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Reviewed by Michelle Stanley for Readers' Favorite
The White Alligator is a southern children’s tale by Michael Verrett. Life is never dull for the animals living in the bayou. Phillipe, a ditzy bird, believes he can hypnotise others, but his plan backfires when he runs into angry mosquitoes. Pompous owls who think they are smarter humiliate the animals and spread false rumours. A naturalist named John who wants to study and sketch the wildlife hires Boudra, a raccoon. Boudra tells him interesting tales about the animals while Maureen the duck poses in her best bonnet to convince John she is a better model to sketch. John soon learns how Pierre, a cunning alligator who terrified the others, turned white after he was tricked by Boudra. He also learns a valuable lesson about paying attention to his surroundings or he could become Pierre’s snack.
The White Alligator is a southern folk tale with a laid-back pace that seems to work nicely in the warm setting of a bayou. The animals are adorable and their dialogue is very funny, as some have the tendency to use words they cannot pronounce. Michael Verrett is a clever storyteller and talented artist. He created these animals to behave very human-like and it amazed me to see how wily some were. His lovely animal sketches enabled me to visualise their entertaining antics and lifestyle. John, who is new to the bayou and did not expect to encounter so much activity in the brief time he arrived, narrates the story. Preteens will enjoy this story.