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Children’s Book Review | Later Said Gator

“Later,” Said Gator, written and illustrated by Carli Valentine, tells the story of Milo. Milo is an imaginative seven-year-old alligator who just can’t bring himself to pause his play to clean his mess. He jumps from one activity to another, full of excitement, insisting to his mom that he’ll clean up “later.”

Children’s Book Review | Later Said Gator

But when the toys pile up too high, they crash down on Milo. The poor gator is trapped until mom rescues him with a shovel.

Together, they agree it would have been much easier for Milo to clean along the way. They work together to tidy his room, then agree to set a timer to remind him to pause and clean to avoid future messes.

Later Said Gator Review

What I loved most about this book is that it was so relatable. The author captured a child’s natural excitement as they play with their toys. She suggested that most kids don’t intend to get distracted from cleaning but are just so engaged in what they’re doing they forget. My eight-year-old easily connected with Milo and nodded in agreement that she gets caught up playing too.

This approach assumes the best of kids, which I feel makes the take home message easier to take to heart. Heck, I think some parents will be able to relate to the message!

After all, how many of us have allowed our homes to become so messy that cleaning it becomes this daunting task? I know I have!

Children’s Book Review | Later Said Gator

Milo rushes from toy to toy with his pet goldfish, Chad. A subtle detail I enjoyed was that all of Milo’s toys, like blocks, a basketball, a rock collection, and paints, encouraged imaginative and creative play. No televisions, tablets, or video games in sight.

I thought it really highlighted all of the fun that can be enjoyed when your nose isn’t glued to a screen. You saw a young alligator totally immersed in every activity, not afraid to flex his artistic skills or stretch his imagination for role play.

I also appreciated that the book ended with “Milo’s Mighty Cleanup Tips.” These were developmentally-appropriate tips to make cleaning feel easier and even fun, like racing the clock or dancing as you clean. It adds a nice bonus to help carry the message out of the book and into everyday life.

Children’s Book Review | Later Said Gator

Overall, my daughter enjoyed a taste of alligator life and I appreciated the relatable and absolutely practical lesson gleaned from the story. You can find the book on Amazon and can follow author Carli Valentine on her websiteFacebook, and Instagram.

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