Alligator Pie Hardcover – May 1 2001
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Before Dennis Lee published Alligator Pie in 1974, the only poetry most Canadian children knew by heart was Mother Goose. Reading to his own daughters, the Governor General's Award-winning poet had noticed that the "jolly millers, little pigs and queens" of the old rhymes were no longer "home grown" and recognizable. So he started experimenting with a new kind of nursery rhyme, "not abolishing Mother Goose, but letting her take up residence among hockey sticks and high-rises." Alligator Pie was an immediate hit, and generations since have grown up chanting Lee's toe-tapping nonsense about laundromats, skyscrapers, rattlesnakes, and windshield wipers.
Lee, whose later books for children include Jelly Belly, The Ice Cream Store, and Bubblegum Delicious, has always been drawn to traditional verse forms in his children's poetry. Alligator Pie begins with familiar-sounding tongue twisters and bouncing rhymes for the very young, such as the whimsical "Willoughby Wallaby Woo" and rhythmic "Singa Songa." The longer and more complex poems for older children that conclude the volume, such as "Psychapoo" and "The Hockey Game," are reminiscent of the poetry of Edward Lear and A.A. Milne.
The lasting appeal of these 37 poems, however, lies in Lee's ability to transform the debris of modern everyday life--Coke machines and climbing bars--into a joyful celebration of childhood. For Canadian children, the plethora of place names, from Aklavik to Winnipeg, also instills a delightful sense of belonging. Although marred slightly by Frank Newfeld's dated and lacklustre illustrations, Alligator Pie is a classic in the field of children's poetry. (Ages 4 to 8) --Lisa Alward
Here is the book that put Canadian childrens literature on the map -- Literary Review of Canada
Lee's poetry delights in musical rhythms and easy rhymes that even the youngest book-lovers will enjoy. These are sure to be a popular offering. -- Winnipeg Free Press
With this series, Lee has barely begun to open his treasure chest of baby- and toddler-worthy rhymes: heres hoping for more. -- Quill & Quire
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Top Customer Reviews
lovely 4 year old - she laughs each time her parents read
it to her.
It's important to note that this book is *only* the single poem Alligator Pie. The other reviews listed here are wrong - this is not the classic 1974 book of different poems of the same name. This book has a lot of merit on its own, particularly for younger children.
Most recent customer reviews
One of the best childhood books in existence. Remains beautifully relevant after decades!Published 2 months ago by Tom Redman
Item arrived promptly, was as described, I remember reading this in the library a long time ago when I was a child. I love this book.Published 4 months ago by Luanne Klassen
One of my favourite childhood reads...I love sharing with my daughter.Published 7 months ago by Dana Stewart
I loved this book as a kid. The poems are so off the wall, and Canadian too!Published 8 months ago by Katherine MacCalman
This book is a classic from my own childhood and I was thrilled to pass it along to my friend's new baby! It is wonderfully (but gently) inappropriate and I love it!!Published 10 months ago by Katy
Classic book! My kids love it as much as I did. I like that this is an updated illustration for the new generation.Published 11 months ago by Dee