Perfect Picture Book Friday: THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH Plus Giveaway

Happy Perfect Picture Book Friday, dear friends. I know it looks like I am here, but I really am not! I am in Switzerland with my dear Storm teammate, Julie Abery.  Yesterday we met with a local SCBWI group and today we are going to the village of Gruyere…the home of cheese and chocolate. You can be sure I will be tasting! Tomorrow we fly to London for the weekend…I’ll be sharing photos on social media, so please stay tuned.

BUT…MEANWHILE…I am totally excited to share a brand new picture book…from fellow debut author B.J. Lee!

I guess you could say that today’s story is a retelling of a wildly popular progressive tale. But it so different, it is really new. It is truly the best of both worlds. A time-honored favorite, like an old friend. But with such a charming twist, it has become new again. And perhaps that is the key to a great book. They say there are only seven stories in the entire world…and every book is a variation. What makes each different is the voice, perspective, and flavor that the author brings to it. And B.J. Lee certainly brought all of that!  Plus, she is offering a copy of the book as a giveaway. Make sure you leave a comment to be entered for a chance to win!

there was an old gator cover


Written by B.J. Lee

Illustrated by David Opie

Published by Pelican Publishing (2019)

Ages: 5 and up

Themes: Progressive story, Florida animals

Synopsis: From Amazon:

“Gators and panthers and crabs, oh my! The classic cumulative tale There Was an Old Lady gets a Floridian flourish in this charming adaptation. Down in the southern swamps a hungry gator accidentally swallows a moth. Of course, he swallows a crab to get the moth! What will he swallow next? The gator predictably continues swallowing bigger and bigger creatures until the unexpected happens―all over the page! Along the way to its hilarious ending, the story―strengthened by the delightful illustrations―introduces readers of all ages to the many critters, both big and small, of the Florida swamp. With a familiar use of repetition and an abundance of rhythm, this silly story is perfect for read-aloud experiences.”

Why I love this book:

  • Fabulous read-aloud!
  • Love the regional flavor of the story!
  • The illustrations are perfect!
  • Meter and rhyme are delightful!


The book launch was pretty special – at a Nature Center and there was a reading, a sing-a-long, crafts, and….a gator walk with a park ranger!

Gator Day Flyer 3 10 19 final

And here’s a bit about B.J.

I am a former college music librarian turned full-time writer and poet. My debut picture book, There Was an Old Gator Who Swallowed a Moth, launched on February 1, 2019 from Pelican Publishing. Additionally, I am an award-winning children’s poet with over 100 poems and stories published/forthcoming in major anthologies and magazines. Anthology credits include Construction People (Wordsong, 2019), I Am a Jigsaw (Bloomsbury, 2019), National Geographic’s Poetry of US (2018), National Geographic’s Book of Nature Poetry (2015), One Minute Till Bedtime (Little, Brown, 2016), Moonstruck (Otter-Barry, 2019), Spaced Out (Bloomsbury, 2019), Fire Burn, Cauldron Bubble (Bloomsbury, 2019) and many others. Magazine credits include Spider, Highlights, and The School Magazine. I blog at Today’s Little Ditty, where I am an authority on poetic forms.


alligator-craftsPhoto courtesy:

For detailed instructions and other ideas:

Remember friends, leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a copy of THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH by B.J. Lee. And as always, help spread the word about the books you love. Buy them, review them, ask your library to purchase them for their collection, and tell your friends about the them.

For more wonderful book reviews, please stop by Susanna Hill’s PERFECT PICTURE BOOK FRIDAY.

Thank you so much for spending your precious time with me.

67 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday: THERE WAS AN OLD GATOR WHO SWALLOWED A MOTH Plus Giveaway

  1. Can’t wait to read this! I live in the Low country of SC with a gator in my backyard lagoon, one of many in the lagoons in my community. What fun! Have some gruyere for me, Miss V!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you Tracy! Yes I was surprised to learn in my research that gators live in other states beside Florida and Louisiana. Being a northerner, i’m not sure I’ll ever get used to them! 🐊😳


  2. While we don’t have gators down here in the Southwest, I would love to have your fun book on my shelf! I’m still learning and refining the craft of verse and rhyme occasionally into some of my children’s stories. I’m sure your There Was an Old Gator Who Swallowed a Moth is just swimming full of rollicking, rhyming words!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you Lynn! Reviewers have used the word “rollicking.”🤗 You can’t go wrong studying pbs in cumulative rhyme. I did a lot of studying them before writing. Best of luck with your Wips!📚💚🐊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great granddaughter is just learning to read and this sounds like a book she’d really enjoy the challenge of reading. She loves to read out loud to anyone who will listen!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am a kindergarten teacher in Orlando. My kinder-bears love the repetition of the There Was An Old Lady books. I can already hear the giggles from my littles as we connect Florida habitats with this book. Thank you for bringing some fun into our science curriculum with tie-ins across the curriculum. We so need the fun back into kindergarten and I think we’ll find it on your pages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Betsy, that’s very heartwarming! I love hearing from teachers. There is a lot of repetition and kids can chime in – great fun! If you like you can check out the teacher guide under Author Visits On my website


  6. I can’t wait to snap up a new retelling!! And I love seeing the accompanying activities – it really adds so much for parents and teachers to have those extra connections. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Noelle! Yes I agree the craft adds a lot. We did a craft at my book launch and the kids didn’t want to leave the craft tables to come and hear the story time. 🙂


  7. I enjoy sharing retellings of stories with my students. I wonder how they might rewrite the story to include animals from Maine after reading Old Gator.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. B.J., I applaud and toss confetti in celebration of your delightful debut book! I LOVE the idea of a twist in an old tale, one that children love to hear and sing. Can’t wait to buy your Gater book! Living in southwest Kansas, we wished we saw gators. Maybe they’d feast on the snakes that rattle their tails at us as we hike. How fortunate to have been a librarian, immersing yourself in so much “fodder” for your imaginative mind. I wish you continued success and joy in your new writing journey. Blessiings!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Blog Tour Stop #8 – A Review from Vivian Kirkfield on Perfect Picture Book Friday

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