Alligator Sue by Sharon Arms Doucet

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"All you can do is be who you is."

Suzanne Marie Sabine Chicot Thibodeaux (called Sue for short) lives on a houseboat deep in Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Swamp. One lazy summer afternoon when the air grows heavier than a catfish's bath towel, a hurricane swoops Sue up -- only to drop her like a hot patate into the swamp below. Sue finds herself nose-to-snout with a queen-sized, prickly-backed mama Alligator. Luckily, Mama Coco is no ordinary gator. She invites Sue into her family and teaches her all she knows. Sue tries hard to be an alligator; still, every once in a while, she recalls a wisp of a familiar song and begins to wonder: Who am I -- a Gator or a Girl?

How this spirited heroine claims her identity and her name -- Alligator Sue -- makes a funny, affecting, and wise tale, illustrated with irresistible joie de vivre.

About Sharon Arms Doucet

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Sharon Arms Doucet is also the author of Lapin Plays Possum, which Kirkus Reviews called "a must-have for storytellers and storylovers alike" in a starred review. She lives in Lafayette, Louisiana. Anne Wilsdorf is an illustrator whose previous books include Garrison Keillor's The Old Man Who Loved Cheese. She lives in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Published August 6, 2003 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR). 40 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Nature & Wildlife, Children's Books.

Unrated Critic Reviews for Alligator Sue

Kirkus Reviews

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Sue lacks the tail and webbing to become a proficient gator and when it’s time to leave the nest, wise Mama Coco guides her back to the ruined houseboat from which she blew in, with the words, “All you can do is be who you is.” But Sue gets the last word as she discovers who that is.

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Publishers Weekly

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The author does not shy away from the loss of Sue's human parents, but adds some comical contrasts, too, as when Sue tries to swim like her green siblings: "While her brothers and sisters could steer themselves through the water with their powerful notched tails, Sue's hind end just ended."

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