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I Wanna Iguana
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I Wanna Iguana

4.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,023 Ratings  ·  257 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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Karen Laszuk
Dec 30, 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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Erin Leffler
Jan 26, 2015 Erin Leffler rated it really liked it
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
Andrea Tuura
Nov 21, 2015 Andrea Tuura rated it really liked it
Alex and his mother write letters back in forth, arguing over Alex getting an iguana. Alex is very persuasive, but with every reason he gives, his mother finds a reason against getting the iguana. In the end, Alex promises to feed, clean the cage, and pay for the iguana, so his mother lets him get one.

This book would be great for showing students how to write persuasive pieces. It could also be used to show students different parts of writing a letter.
Apr 12, 2015 Kim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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.
Jun 24, 2014 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
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.
Mar 27, 2015 Abigail rated it it was amazing
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.
Hoda Marmar
Feb 03, 2015 Hoda Marmar rated it really liked it
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!
Ashlee Draper Galyean
So so great! I love a good epistolary! And to see a children's book undertake that is fantastic. I loved the illustrations as well which kind of surprised me because I was nervous about all the bright pink and green on the cover.
Feb 10, 2014 Nicole rated it really liked it
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
Oct 14, 2014 Christina Riddo rated it really liked it
Shelves: edrd-314
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.
Sep 05, 2014 Megan rated it liked it
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 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
Jun 07, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it
It's quite obvious why this one is a perennial favourite for teaching persuasive writing. You might even learn some facts about iguanas along the way.
Nov 17, 2014 Courtney rated it liked it
Shelves: edrd-314
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.
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