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I Wanna Iguana
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I Wanna Iguana

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  4,378 Ratings  ·  277 Reviews
Alex just has to convince his mom to let him have an iguana, so he puts his arguments in writing. He promises that she won't have to feed it or clean its cage or even see it if she doesn't want to. Of course Mom imagines life with a six-foot-long iguana eating them out of house and home. Alex's reassurances: It takes fifteen years for an iguana to get that big. I'll be mar ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 9th 2004 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
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(showing 1-30)
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Karen Laszuk
Dec 27, 2011 Karen Laszuk rated it it was amazing
I used this book as a writing prompt. We read the story I Wanna Iguana and then discussed the idea of persuasive writing. The students were asked to try and convince their parents to give them a new pet. What made this project really exciting was that the children took their booklet home every night and their parents wrote back to them. I made it perfectly clear to the children and the parents that each time mom and dad were to say NO! We had a blast each morning as they brought back their paren ...more
Dec 25, 2015 Madissen rated it did not like it
for some reason i thought it was weird I don't really know why.I just thought it was weird
Diana Perry
Jun 25, 2015 Diana Perry rated it it was amazing
I Wanna Iguana by Karen Kaufman is a funny, amazing and clever book to read when teaching about persuasive writing. Alex, the main character, tries to convince his mom to let him have his friend’s iguana as a pet. Alex and his mom go back and forth through the use of letters. The exchange of letters and the arguments of both mom and son are sure to evoke laughter and smiles. I read this book with my first graders and they really enjoyed it. The letters were a great example of persuasive writing ...more
Apr 22, 2012 Nadya rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pets, responsibility
Review: I love how this story is written in notes back and forth from son to mother. I read this story a long time when I was younger and it brought back memories when I wanted a pet hamster. I begged and begged my parents to let me have one. I am sure a lot of other children wanted a pet too and would relate to this story. This story is basically about Alex wanting a pet iguana and his mother does not know if he is ready to have one and be responsible with it. I love this story!

Learning Experi
Mar 23, 2010 Deanna rated it liked it
I used this book with a 2nd grade class to introduce persuasive writing. It is a good piece to show children effective persuasion skills. The majority of the book is in letter format. It is always a good idea to expose children to this format, as it is not too common anymore.
This book can be used as a way to convince children that old fashioned letter writing as a great message in itself, whether it is written to persuade the reader or to just say hello.
Oct 08, 2010 Annette rated it really liked it
Shelves: early-reader
A very charming story about a little boy Alex who wants his friend Mikey's iguana. "If Alex doesn't take it, it'll go to Spike, and Spike's dog will eat it!" Alex relays all his thoughts and desires to his mother through 'letters' and of course she returns with her own.

Highly recommended as a read-aloud. Great illustrations too.
Maria Caplin
Mar 19, 2015 Maria Caplin rated it it was amazing
Searching for mentor text on opinion writing...perfect going to use it to show my students how the main character brings facts into his letter to his mom. Perfect short text to support all learners. Illustrations are fun too.
Melissa Riley
Mar 17, 2015 Melissa Riley rated it it was amazing
What a delightful little story. The narrative is told through letters between Alex and his mum. Alex is trying his hardest to convince his mum that it would be best if he got this iguana and how well he will take care of it. The illustrations are colourful and imaginative.
Alexis Munk
Nov 29, 2016 Alexis Munk rated it liked it
I hated the illustrations in this book. The little boy was very creepy. I did like how it was written in letter form. It would be a great way to teach children about the different parts of a letter. I also loved the signatures at the ends of their letters. They were very funny. I think children would be able to relate to this easily because almost all children ask for some kind of pet.
Sarah Baker
Dec 03, 2016 Sarah Baker rated it it was ok
Shelves: kids
Cute banter in letters of a kid asking his mom permission. The artwork, however, creeped me out.
Haley C.
Jan 23, 2017 Haley C. rated it really liked it
Such a funny, cute book!
Angie Carter
Feb 10, 2017 Angie Carter rated it really liked it
I've never wanted an iguana, but great book for kids who want an exotic pet. Fun.
Jan 10, 2017 Ellen rated it really liked it
Great text to introduce persuasive writing. The kids loved pointing out how the mom reacted to each argument.
Lauren Wood
Sep 29, 2016 Lauren Wood rated it it was amazing
Shelves: el230
I absolutely loved this book! It was written very uniquely with letters being exchanged between Alex and his mother. It was very funny and the illustrations were wonderful. This book also showed that you need to be prepared and responsible if you would like to have a pet.
May 30, 2016 Shelley rated it it was amazing
All sweet little Alex wants is his friend's iguana. Alex's friend is moving and his baby iguana needs a new home. Alex believes the iguana would make a great pet, and he truly believes he can take care of him. But can he convince his mother of that enough to let him keep the iguana?
My Rating
4.5 Stars
I Wanna Iguana is truly told from the perspective of a child which is just one reason why this book so great and entertaining! Each plea to convince his mother to let him have the
Heather Gray
Sep 11, 2016 Heather Gray rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-1-10
Type of book- picture book
literary genre- fiction
Awards- none
Summary- Alex is a young boy who desperately wants a pet iguana. So he convinces his mom of reasons why he should get one. He makes several promises such as "you wont have to clean out it's cage" and "it takes several years to get big and I will probably be living on my own then." His mother has a very different image of living with a pet iguana and is reluctant but eventually lets Alex get a pet Iguana named Spike.
Critique of the boo
Alex really, really wants a pet iguana. So he begins a letter writing campaign to his mother. He really lobbies hard for a pet. But each time he sends a letter explaining why he wants one and how he would be a good pet caretaker, his mother sends a letter back delineating problems which Alex then needs to address. Back and forth this book goes until finally...
Chris Shue
Feb 01, 2016 Chris Shue rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hannah Moles
Apr 17, 2016 Hannah Moles rated it it was amazing
I Wanna Iguana is a cute realistic fiction book about; you guessed it, a boy who wants an iguana. He writes his mom letters trying to convince her to let him get one, to which she always replies with an excuse and a no. At the end, he is able to convince her and he gets an iguana. What makes this story a realistic fiction is the fact that it parallels many kid’s lives. Personally, when I was little I wanted a pet “Silky Chicken”; this is because my friend Sydney Miller had one. Looking back, obv ...more
Leslie Medrano
Sep 09, 2016 Leslie Medrano rated it it was amazing
Genre: Realistic fiction
Format: Children's picture book
Awards: None

Summary: A little boy named Alex, writes letters back and forth with his mom, trying to convince her to have a baby iguana for a pet.

Critique: While reading this book, you cannot help but laugh a couple of times and smile. It is humorous and makes you want to tell Alex's mom to let him have the iguana. The author does a wonderful job of convincing the reader through Alex's cuteness.

Prompts or Questions: The teacher can ask the s
Brianne Larson
I remember a friend who had read this book and got an iguana for her daughter!! She actually bought her daughter an iguana and it roams free throughout their house. So sometimes our imaginations and dreams really do happen, including wanting an iguana.
Jun 01, 2016 EDUC535 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, persuasive
Tiara Dietz:

What kid doesn't want a new pet? And what kid hasn't begged and pleaded and tried to persuade their parents to buy them one? In I Wanna Iguana, Alex and his mom communicate back and forth between notes/letters (this is the text). This story is a great read aloud story to teach students about persuasive writing; it teaches stating the problem, and giving reasons and examples to support. Students and teachers love the humor in the story and can even relate to the many things that are s
Maggie Burgess
Nov 21, 2015 Maggie Burgess rated it really liked it
I like this book for a few reasons. This book can be used to teach inferencing, as well as aspects of writing. I also like this book because it shows an adult being responsive to a child. So often when it comes to adults (parents, teachers, etc.) it's my way or the highway, I make the rules, I'm right- you're wrong. There are definitely times things need to operate that way for sure. But I do love that here is an example where they could have a conversation (through writing), the child gains und ...more
Richard Drown
Dec 05, 2016 Richard Drown rated it it was amazing
I love this book due to the great illustrations, and because it can connect with children, and even adults as we all want things that we can't have sometimes so we tend to show appreciation for when we actually are able to get these type of things.
Jul 13, 2010 jacky rated it liked it
Recommended to jacky by: grade school
Shelves: picture-books, tv
We saw this book on Between the Lions. I really liked how this book was told in a series of letters / note back and forth between mother and son. These show young readers how to use writing to achieve what they desire. Also, I liked how the son used different approaches in each of his letters, illustrating how to argue a point. If nothing else, its great for showing how to write a letter. I also found the subject of the book fun. Most kids like pets and animals and have wanted one at some point, ...more
Emily Miller
Feb 23, 2014 Emily Miller rated it it was amazing
This book would be great to use in a classroom because so many children young and old can relate to asking their parents for something. In this story the main character tries to persuade his parents to let him get a pet iguana. He writes letters back and forth with his mom debating if him getting a new pet is the best idea. I would use this book in a persuasive/opinion writing unit. Orloff shows how good writers use opinions and facts to back up what they are asking for. I also like how this sto ...more
Deb Jones
Jan 28, 2014 Deb Jones rated it it was amazing
David Catrow is one of my favorite illustrators. His pictures add a cartoon element to each of his books, while adding to the storyline. In "I Wanna Iguana," Alex is a young boy who wants to adopt his friend's iguana. Through letters, Alex and his mom have a conversation about this important decision. The author uses different script for each character which adds to their personalities. Within the classroom, this book could be used as an example of a persuasive paper. The story can also ask a re ...more
Jul 08, 2012 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, pets, 2012
We just love David Catrow's illustrations - his style is so vivid and comical, so fun and whimsical. So we look for all of the books that he has written and/or illustrated at our local library.

This is a fun story about a son and his mother corresponding back and forth via letter (yes, they do live in the same house) regarding adopting a pet iguana. The narrative is funny, but the illustrations are hilarious and really make the book. We really enjoyed reading this book together and had fun discu
Steve Holden
Nov 13, 2016 Steve Holden rated it really liked it
I really enjoy using this book as a teaching tool to writing. First of all, it's a very fun read that children relate to easily. The story is told through letters between a young boy and his mother. He's trying to convince her that he should be able to take a friend's iguana, while she replies to the contrary of his reasons. It's humorous. It fits in well as a teaching tool because we work with both opinion and letter writing. This is perfect! It's difficult to teach persuasive writing technique ...more
Adriana Aparicio
Dec 10, 2011 Adriana Aparicio rated it it was amazing
I Wanna Iguana is one of the cutest children's books I have ever read! Alex is so determine to get an Iguana. He tries to convince his mother to get him an Iguana as a pet. Alex has a great an imagination about what he would do if he gets his Iguana. Its even funny when his mother tells him why he should not get the Iguana. Alex is just like his mother coming with excuses why or why not he should get the Iguana. If you read this to your child guaranteed that your child will use some of Alex's te ...more
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