When I Was an Alligator
written by Gayle Webre, illustrations by Drew Beech
Selected for the "Great Reads from Great Places" list at the 2022 National Book Festival by the Louisiana Center for the Book
About the Book
Follow a curious Cajun kid as she magically and mysteriously transforms into a series of wetlands creatures, including a tree frog, a heron, a catfish, and even a mosquito! Along the way, each animal reveals something of its habits and habitat. With fun language, page-turning onomatopoeia, and charming art, When I Was an Alligator is a playful and informative exploration of Louisiana’s treasured coastal wetlands.
For related grade-level standards, ELA activites, and more, visit Gayle Webre's website here.
Awards and Reviews
When I Was an Alligator: honorable mention in the Ann Whitford Paul- Writer’s Digest competition for Most Promising Picture Book of 2019 at the Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) national conference in Los Angeles (Summer 2019)
Drew’s portfolio: named best portfolio at the 2019 SCBWI regional conference in New Orleans (February 2019)
"A gorgeous book and fun to read aloud with the kids. It’s about a curious Cajun girl transforming into a series of wetland creatures. Imagination and ecology in a brilliant package!" —225 Magazine Fresh Reads
About the Authors
Gayle Webre holds a Master’s + 30 from the University of Southwestern Louisiana and has worked in elementary education for twenty-five years, primarily designing and implementing enrichment curricula for gifted children. She generally lives with her nose in a book or talking about books she’s read. You might also find her writing, hosting gatherings for family and friends, playing with her grandchildren, or riding her tricycle. (Yep!)
Drew Beech is a children’s illustrator newly based in Chattanooga, Tennessee. As a southern Louisiana native, her creativity thrives on the richness of her home state—the soft pastels and gritty textures of the French Quarter; the depth of flavors in a bowl of gumbo; the magic thrum of insects in the oaks. Drew is an alumna of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, and in her free time enjoys rock climbing, losing herself in books, collecting house plants, camping, biking, and hiking. Her greatest adventure, however, has been parenting and growing alongside her six-year-old daughter.
Published October 1, 2020
© University of Louisiana at Lafayette Press
Hardcover | 36 Pages | 8" x 10" | ISBN: 9781946160669