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I Wanna Iguana
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I Wanna Iguana

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  3,383 ratings  ·  240 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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Community Reviews

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Karen Laszuk
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
Melissa Riley
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.
Maria Caplin
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.
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
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.
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.
Diana Perry
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
Emily Miller
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
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
Erin Leffler
This story is a wonderful play on letter-writing that students will enjoy! Alex is desperately trying to convince his mother to let him have an iguana, and tries many different tactics to get his way. The illustrations add to the meaning of this book, and the vocabulary really encourages students to make inferences and predictions about what the characters are doing and what will happen next. This story made me smile from an adult's point of view, and it made my 3rd grade students laugh as well! ...more
This book is the perfect mentor text to use in a classroom when introducing persuasive writing. This kid lists so many amazing reasons for getting an iguana that his parents give in. Wonderfully written and illustrated. It is a lot of fun to read to a group of kids, and I always loved reading it to my own children at bedtime. I will definitely be using this in my own classroom.
A funny story about a young boy writing a letter to his mama about how it important it is that he get a pet iguana. Mom writes a response and thus continues the book with letters exchanged between boy and mom. Clever and understandable, any parent will relate to the wearing down to that frequent question of "Can I get a (dog, cat, iguana, snake, etc.)?"
Great model for persuasive writing. Could also be used as a model for letter writing. A young boy really, really wants an iguana. In a series of letters, he tries to persuade his mom to let him get the iguana. She replies giving reasons he should NOT get the iguana. The illustrations are fun, colorful and really add to the text.
This book can introduce kids to persuasive writing. The letters between the boy and his parents is quite fascinating and funny but at the same time they are teaching children about how to write a letter and how to write a persuasive essay. I would recommend this book t everyone. Thanks for taking the time to read my review.
I have had so much fun in the classroom reading this funny story aloud and discussing it with the Grade 3 kids. The illustrations are so bizarre, funny, and colorful that they added a great deal to the story. Not only did my students love it, but I did too!
I Wanna Iguana is a series of letters from Alex attempting to persuade his mother into letting him keep an iguana as a pet. Mum's counter arguments are as funny as his. An entertaining example of persuasive writing.
Christina Riddo
This book has captivating pictures! The author writes the book in a letter format which is a creative way to write a picture book. I would show this book to my students to introduce persuasive writing.
Our two year-old calls for this book by name. He loves looking at the detailed illustrations and listening to the funny banter between the kid and his mom. Because of this book, he wants an iguana.
Sep 05, 2014 Megan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: kindergarten-3rd grade
Correspondence between a boy and his mother debating the advisability of getting an iguana as a pet. Could be used as inspiration for persuasive writing/debate.
Mother and son trade send letters back and forth discussing whether they will take on a pet iguana.

Humorous with a happy ending. Good read aloud for PreK-2.
Jul 08, 2012 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: 2012, childrens, pets
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
I remember writing letters to my parents begging and bargaining for a pet when I was young. I could see using this as a tool in the classroom to introduce persuasive writing.
Kelly Tisdale
This book is a good way to introduce letters, pets, persuasion writing and responsibilities to students. This book is letters written back and forth from a child and his mother telling information about iguanas. Alex, the son, as uses wonderful description words as he is trying to persuade his mother into getting him this pet. I like the idea that students can relate to this as most children want pets and try to persuade their own parents into getting one.
Karalee Hoge
I love the power of persuasive letters!! The illustrations of this book are the real star and capture your attention.
Alex wants an iguana and he and his mom write notes back and forth discussing the request. very entertaining.
Notes between mother and son. Love the illustrations. Looking at their facial expressions made me want to smile!
Great mentor text for opinion/persuasive writing prompts. Also used as a mentor text for letter formatting.
Jul 21, 2010 jacky rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to jacky by: grade school
Shelves: tv, picture-books
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
Donna (Jaevenstar)
This book is adorable! We read it together in my class as a study on the opinion writing genre.
Author: Karen Kaufman Orloff
Grade level: 2-3
Content: Pets, Covers the needs and changes underwent by iguanas, such as tank size, needed survival items, etc.

Book covers the want of a pet, as well as the characteristics needed by someone in order to take care of it. It refers to size of tank and essentials for growth.

This is a book about a boy who really wants to adopt his friend Mike's iguana. His mother and him write back and forth contemplating the idea of him adopting the iguana.
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