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Oliver and His Alligator
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Oliver and His Alligator (Oliver)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  382 ratings  ·  96 reviews
Oliver is nervous about the first day of school, so he picks up an alligator at the swamp, just in case. And boy, does it come in handy! Whenever anything scares Oliver--be it a teacher, a classmate, or the prospect of learning "everything"--the alligator makes the problem go away. Quickly, school becomes much simpler . . . and a little lonely. But Oliver knows just what t ...more
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Disney-Hyperion (first published June 1st 2013)
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I got this for my nephew as part of his birthday gift. His name is also Oliver and he just started school so I thought he'd get a kick out this story about a boy named Oliver on his first day of school. After I read it I thought it was a bit dark - spoiler alert: the alligator eats everyone! But it's SUCH a fun book, a super quick read and equally perfect for Oliver, who just turned five, as well as his much younger sister. Illustrations are clean and simple and beautiful. I hear that Oliver and ...more
Elizabeth Smith
Schmid, Paul. Oliver and His Alligator. New York: Disney-Hyperion Books, 2013. Print. Fiction, first day of school, fear. It is Oliver’s first day of school and he is really nervous about making new friends and going somewhere he’s never been. In order to help him he stops by the swamp and makes an alligator his pet. Whenever Oliver gets scared he says “Munch, munch” and the alligator eats the people. In time Oliver becomes lonely and has the alligator to eat him so he can be with all the people ...more
Maybe I'm just a cynical adult who reads the news too much but I found this book very disturbing. It just had too many parallels with school shootings. Kid doesn't fit in, kills classmates, takes his own life when he realizes what he has done. I'm sure that's not what the author intended but unfortunately it was all I could think of when I read it.
I love the gentleness of this book. Oliver is a good kid struggling with a normal thing. Nobody goes mad or lectures him for this - instead, he works through it in his own time and his own way. The shy child gains power and acceptance through the author's sympathy and understanding. Lovely illustrations, too.
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Schmid, Paul. Oliver and His Alligator. New York: Disney Hyperion, 2013. Print.
This review is from Get Kids to Read

Gr PK-K Oliver and his Aligator is the perfect book for children entering preschool or kindergarten for the first time. Entering school away from mom and dad can be a scary thing. Oliver decides he needs an aligator to help him through the day. He has the alligator eat anything that makes him nervous. Soon he realizes he is alone and decides to join school and face his fears.
With s
"Oliver sometimes felt his brave was't nearly as big as he needed it to be." With that opening line, how could you not feel for Oliver? Worried about his first day of school, Oliver stops by the swamp to pick up an alligator—just in case. Smart thinking, kid! And this is one well-trained alligator: whenever his anxiety creeps up, Oliver just says "Munch, munch!" and the alligator helpfully obliges by eating up whatever's in sight.

That is, until his alligator friend has eaten up the whole scho
Oliver sometimes isn’t as brave as he’d like to be, and that is especially true on the first day of school. So he headed to the swamp and picked up an alligator, “just in case things got rough.” When Oliver got to school a woman who was not his mother greeted him and asked his name. In his panic, Oliver couldn’t remember his name, but he could say “munch, munch!” and the alligator ate the lady. A similar thing happened when a little girl in the class asked Oliver what he loved. Oliver wanted to ...more
Victoria Moore
"Oliver and His Alligator" by Paul Schmid is a great children's book that addresses separation anxiety in a humorous and tender way. The alligator Oliver meets and uses to face his fears is a totally innocent and compliant character who seems as bewildered as he is about school. Rendered against a stark white, green and multicolored background the drawings of the other children at Oliver's school add to the tension and joy of the classroom and reminded me of how I felt when I first started pres ...more
Most of the reason this book is getting any stars at all is because I love Paul Schmid's illustrations. The story, however, left a little to be desired. The concept was that Oliver is going to his first day of Kindergarten, but he is scared, so he picks up an alligator along the way to school. Anything that scares him, the alligator eats. This could've been a really cute book, but the alligator eating everything just made it creepy to me, and a little bit like "let's all ignore our problems kidd ...more
Oliver is nervous about his first day of school, so he stops by the swamp and picks up an alligator. Just in case. (LOVE this.)

When he gets to school, he's a little afraid of his teacher. When she asks his name, he's so nervous he just says, "Munch, munch." I'm assuming the alligator takes this as a command, because it eats his teacher. (YES.)

For the rest of the morning, anyone or anything that makes Oliver nervous or annoyed winds up in the alligator's belly. Finally, Oliver is alone. There's n
This is an interesting read to say the least. Oliver is a quiet soul, not wanting to experience the hustle and bustle of school. This is where his alligator comes in, quite literally gobbling up whatever seems to bother Oliver. Well, soon enough Oliver realizes how boring school is without the other children, decorations, and fun.
Oliver is a bit worried about going to school ~ so her stops by the swamp to pick up an alligator. His alligator helps Oliver feel better about things, until he begins to realize that school is boring this way. Now Oliver calls upon his alligator to help him in a slightly different way. A fun, first day of school read aloud.
Bold and imaginative, new in 2013, and a great selection for the pre-school thru 1st grade crowd. My five-year-old demanded a read, a re-read, then pulled her finger out of her mouth and requested to hear it a third time (this is quite the compliment).

P.S. Loved the dedication to Maurice Sendak.
This book was so adorable! I loved how Oliver was so shy, so he would say "munch munch" instead of what he intended to say. Having his alligator eat the teacher and all the students was comical, especially when Oliver wanted to join class inside his alligator!
Oliver's first day of school starts out rough right away when his teacher asks him about his name. Luckily, he had swung by the swamp in the morning to pick up an alligator to say "Munch, munch!" And magically the alligator takes care of his fear, swallowing it whole. The only problem is you also miss what might be fun if you don't look at the parts but only look at the whole. Coincidentally, the alligator looks just like the stuffed animal he sleeps with every night. Clean drawings and soft, pa ...more
Anxious about the first day of school, Oliver stops by the swamp and finds an alligator to accompany him. Although his new classmates and teacher seem friendly enough, he's too frightened to respond other than to utter words that tell the alligator what to do. Consequently, he sits in his seat by himself, waiting for something to happen. When he hears the sounds of laughter inside the very large alligator, he joins his classmates there. Although the alligator's swallowing everyone whole is a bit ...more
Oliver is nervous about his first day of school. Arriving with an alligator as a companion his worries soon disappear as the alligator's belly swells.

Funny and fresh with pastel pencil illustrations finished digitally. PreK-2.
Oliver's quiet story about beginning scared for the first day of school is both gentle and hilarious. My students loved predicting what would happen next. Great book to teach deductive reasoning based on picture evidence.
Adorable. And that little guy looks just like MY little guy, so that made me extra like it. Also, my kids and I were laughing OUT LOUD for five minutes over the alligator's progressively growing physique. Just so, so cute.
"Oliver sometimes felt his brave wasn't nearly as big as he needed it to be."

In order to be brave enough to start school, Oliver stops by the swamp to pick up an alligator. He calls on his alligator whenever he needs to brave.

A story about facing fears
Not what I expected - surprising first day of school fun, love the use of white space, story begins on the jacket flap and continues onto the very last page. I always check to see if there are author/illustrator photos, fun to see a school pic!
Lex Marie
Occasionally, when I want to feel nostalgic, I will read children's books. This isn't one from my childhood, but it is very cute and I love the way it's illustrated. Definitely an adorable read.
I was horrified reading this book out loud to my six-year-old son tonight; my son, however, thought this book was hilarious.

I did like the illustrative style very much, though.
Destiny Dawn Long
The story is absurd and ridiculous--but Oliver is just so awkwardly, sweetly charming that I couldn't help but fall in love with him. Schmid, withe just a few dots and lines, and a hint of color, is able to convey such a wide range of emotions in this little tyke.

Oliver is nervous about his first day of school, so he brings an alligator with him just in case. Then, when people try talking with him, all Oliver can manage to say is "munch, munch"--which the alligator interprets as a command. Soon
Destinee Sutton
Young children with first day jitters will be delighted (and possibly a bit confused) by Oliver's alligator. When anything or anyone at school makes Oliver nervous, he just has to say, "Munch, munch" and the alligator eats it up. By the end of the book, the alligator has swelled to the size of...the school! And Oliver realizes that there's a lot of fun going on inside that alligator.

I adored Schmid's stubby-legged children and ever-expanding (not at all scary) alligator. The simplicity of the i
So cute it skirted painful, but never actually got there. I squeaked at one point.
Apr 10, 2014 N added it
Shelves: children-s
I think my favorite part is the story Olivia created based on the pics.
Very imaginative and fun. Good for Kindergarten celebrations.
I love the illustrations.
Monica Williams
Meh, could have been better.
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Paul Schmid is an author and illustrator of children's picture books.
He lives in Seattle with his wife, Linda, and their daughter, Anna. You can visit him online at
More about Paul Schmid...

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