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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
The Alligator Wrestler: A Girls Can Do Anything Book is an adventure book for children, grades 4-6, written by Carmen Petro and illustrated by Sarah Gledhill. Caitlyn loved her family’s vacations. This year, they were camping for two weeks by the Banana River in Florida. She loved exploring the coast and seeing marine life up close. Caitlyn didn’t think that going to Gator World on their ninth day there was such a great idea; it sounded too much like an educational field trip especially when the beach was right there waiting for her. When they finally got inside, Mom suggested they visit the Reptile House first of all. Caitlyn and her brothers knew her ulterior motive was to get photographs of the family, but she quickly realized Gator World wouldn’t be as boring as she had feared after all.
Carmen Petro’s The Alligator Wrestler had me just as surprised and fascinated by Gator World as Caitlyn was. I loved seeing Caitlyn smiling for the pictures as she held the giant snake’s head and remembering how she had handled a large black Emperor Scorpion at a zoo in the past. And her interactions with Casey, Reggie and Zack during the Alligator Show are inspirational. Caitlyn is curious, confident and definitely not one to get all squeamish about reptiles, snakes or even scorpions! Having her meet Casey is a great way for parents and teachers to get girls interested in STEM subjects as they start considering what they’d like to do when they grow up. Sarah Gledhill’s pen and wash illustrations work perfectly with the story. Each panel was fun and added dimension and impact to the plot. The Alligator Wrestler: A Girls Can Do Anything Book is most highly recommended.