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Oliver and His Alligator
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Oliver and His Alligator (Oliver)

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  499 Ratings  ·  116 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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(showing 1-30)
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Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Victoria Beaudoin
I would definitely recommend this book to have in the classroom. It was humorous and I think the students would really enjoy it. The illustrations were much like those of Dr. Seuss and the colors were inviting. I found myself laughing at the childish humor which is why I think it would be fun to read as a whole class.
We started reading this, and had to reread it as we disbelieved it. And it continued ... My boys could not work out whether to laugh or hide under the covers, but it had them riveted and stunned and my youngest then had to go an read it to his dad.
Bryan Wanlass
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-and-ya
I wish I had an alligator to eat things that make me nervous.......
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Oliver uses an alligator to eat things when he gets anxious. It might compare well to the book "If You Ever Want to Bring an Alligator to School."
Liz Todd
Brilliant. The introvert's dream.
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Adorable book that will make both adults and kids laugh. Children nervous about school or social interactions will be able to relate and learn that the things that make them uncomfortable can also be fun. Cute and minimalist illustrations finish off this book perfectly.
May 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
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
Holly Schurman
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oliver was worried about his first day of school so he picked up an alligator from the swamp in case things got rough. When he got to school a woman asked him a question so he told his alligator to eat her. One of his classmates asked what his favorite animal was so he told her alligator to eat her, too. All of the other kids were too noisy so he asked his alligator to eat them. He was anxious about all of the material he had to learn to he asked his alligator to eat that, too. Just as he was th ...more
Courtney Huskisson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Shumin Wu
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"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
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
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
Aug 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Oct 14, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Lauren Houston
Oct 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
It's Olivers first day of school and he is very nervous. So Oliver decided to bring an alligator with him to school so it would eat all the things that made him nervous. The first thing Oliver's alligator was his teacher, and then a couple of students, and before long he had eaten everyone and everything in the room!

This would be a good book to read to kindergarten or fist grade classrooms on the first day of school. After reading the students could go around the reading circle and shar
Destinee Sutton
Aug 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, school
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
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
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oliver and his Alligator is a staple in my teaching library. It is a story about a boy who is nervous to go to school, so naturally, he decides he needs to take an alligator with him. Through the fictional heartwarming tale, young students are able to identify with Oliver and connect their new school fears with his. During the course of the story, Oliver has a change of heart, the way it plays out resonates with the young reader and helps him or her to see that maybe school isn't so bad after al ...more
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Kirkus review (starred)
Read this in one sitting (standing) at the Harvard Book Store (7/10/13).
"Oliver was beginning to feel better about school."

Re-read (7/24/13)

"Oliver sometimes felt his brave wasn't nearly as big as he needed it to be."

[After the alligator swallows the teacher, other students, and classroom decorations] "School is maybe kind of a little boring, thought Oliver."
Camille Rivera
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Oliver is nervous about going to school so he gets an alligator to come with him. Every time Oliver has difficulties speaking to someone or gets nervous he has his alligator eat them until everyone is gone and he realizes they are having school without him. The illustrations in this book are very simple yet eye grabbing and effectively tell the story. This is the perfect book for younger kids, and maybe even older kids, who are nervous about school. I would read this book in the classroom to hel ...more
Victoria Moore
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
"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
Jeana Wert
At first I didn't understand Oliver and his Alligator. Towards the end, I could understand it better. Oliver was nervous about going to school, so every time he did not like something and got nervous, his alligator would swallow it. Whether it was a teacher, a student, or even posters on the walls. After Oliver's alligator had swallowed everything, he realized he had nothing left and was sad he was not in school.
I don't know what to say because I loved the simple line drawings and soft colors, but I wanted to love the story so much more than I did. It deals with first day of school anxiety and it is morbidly funny but I just don't know how well it will translate during storytime. Maybe on a one to one level and I think with older (kindergarten+) age groups. It would definitely need a set-up for younger.
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
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Paul Schmid is an author and illustrator of children's picture books.
He lives in Seattle. You can visit him online at
More about Paul Schmid...

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