Oliver and His Alligator by Paul Schmid
Have you ever wished that all of your problems would just disappear? Oliver sure did. Oliver is starting school and you can tell even on the endpapers that he’s worried terribly about it. He stops by the swamp on his way to school and gets an alligator to help him through the tough day ahead. And he does help. In fact, when the teacher asks Oliver his name, he stammers out, “Munch, munch” and the alligator eats the teacher. The same with all the kids and all the classroom decorations! When Oliver realizes that all the fun appears to be happening INSIDE the alligator, he lets loose with the incantation and out they all pop. The endpapers let us know that the alligator is actually Oliver’s reliable stuffed animal and at the end we see him left behind while Oliver goes off to school alone. This is a fun book that, despite all the people-eating, actually is very reassuring – especially in the hands of a good teacher/parent/librarian.