A is for Alligator
Draw and Tell Tales from A–Z
by Dianne de Las Casas and Marita Gentry
May 2011, 95pp, 8 1/2x11
1 volume, Libraries Unlimited

Paperback: 978-1-59884-929-5
$40, £31, 35€, A55

Young children, no matter what their backgrounds, love to draw—and animals are key among the subjects that entice them. Educators and librarians love “make and takes,” easy projects they can do, take, and implement in their work with children. What could be a better learning tool than a book that combines the two?

Using a can't-miss formula, these 26 original stories and accompanying illustrations connect kids' love of animals and drawing with early literacy skills.

Award-winning author Dianne de Las Casas has found, through personal experience in sharing handmade tales with teachers and librarians in workshops around the world, that they absolutely love “draw and tell tales.” A is for Alligator: Draw and Tell Tales from A–Z puts that knowledge to work to facilitate the teaching of early literacy skills by connecting learning with kids’ love of animals and drawing.

De Las Casas’s innovative tales are accompanied by illustrator Marita Gentry’s animal pictures, cleverly incorporating the alphabet to create simple draw and tell tales. A–Z chapters use the entire alphabet as a foundation for drawing animals. Offering a sure way to both entertain and educate, the book is perfect for elementary teachers, librarians, and drama teachers of all levels of expertise, but can also be used by storytellers, scout leaders, camp counselors, and others who work with groups of children.


  • 26 easy, step-by-step stories and simple illustrations
  • 8–12 illustrations per story
  • A glossary that explains all the animals
  • Stories appropriate for grades PreK–3
Dianne de Las Casas was an award-winning author, storyteller, and recording artist. Her work earned rave reviews in School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus. She performed at schools, libraries, festivals, and special events, and was a frequent speaker at national and state library and education conferences. Dianne authored many professional books for Libraries Unlimited, including Tell Along Tales: Playing with Participation Stories, the award-winning Scared Silly: 25 Tales to Tickle and Thrill, and the bestselling Handmade Tales: Stories to Make and Take. Her many children's books include Blue Frog: The Legend of Chocolate, There's A Dragon in the Library, and The Cajun Cornbread Boy.

Marita Gentry is a professional artist and has her own painting and teaching studio, Studio Marita, in southern Louisiana. Her vivid illustrations have earned her numerous awards and commissions. An accomplished teacher, she is involved in several artist-in-residence programs each year, helping schools enliven their walls with magnificent murals. Marita frequently collaborates with Dianne de Las Casas, and has illustrated many of her children's books, including There's a Dragon in the Library, The Gigantic Sweet Potato, and The Cajun Cornbread Boy. Her website is www.maritagentry.com.
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