The most recommended alligator books

Who picked these books? Meet our 17 experts.

17 authors created a book list connected to alligators, and here are their favorite alligator books.
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What type of alligator book?


The River of Souls

By Robert McCammon,

Book cover of The River of Souls

Alice Henderson Author Of A Solitude of Wolverines

From the list on gripping books set in the wild.

Who am I?

In addition to being a writer, I’m also a wildlife researcher and therefore spend a lot of time in wild, remote areas. Using a variety of methods including bioacoustic studies, I undertake wildlife surveys to determine what species are present on lands that have been set aside for conservation. I ensure there are no signs of poaching and devise of ways to improve habitat. I have surveyed for the presence of grizzlies, wolves, spotted owls, wolverines, jaguars, endangered bats, and more. These remote settings inspired me to write my current thriller series about a wildlife biologist who encounters dangerous situations while working to protect endangered species.

Alice's book list on gripping books set in the wild

Why did Alice love this book?

Robert McCammon is one of our finest contemporary writers. He truly has the gift of making me feel like I’m in the settings of his books, as if I’ve experienced the tribulations and triumphs of his characters firsthand. River of Souls is no exception. It transported me back in time to the swamps of the Carolinas in 1703, where alligators and snakes prowled the dark waters. The main character, Matthew Corbett, is tasked with journeying up the Solstice River in search of an accused murderer. He encounters strange settlements steeped in mysticism. Tales of a mythical beast hunting humans in the fetid landscape add to the terror. But despite these challenges, Corbett, a smart, dynamic, honor-bound character, will stop at nothing to see justice done.

By Robert McCammon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The River of Souls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Macabre surprises abound” in this historical thriller by a New York Times–bestselling author, centered on the search for an escaped slave accused of murder (Publishers Weekly).
Accompanied by his new friend Magnus Muldoon, professional problem solver Matthew Corbett is in the Carolina colony, where three enslaved people have managed to flee their captors—one of them accused of killing the daughter of a plantation owner. Their quest to close the case will take Matthew and Magnus to the place known as “the River of Souls” as they encounter alligators and Native American warriors—and a terrifying being known as the Soul Cryer…

Book cover of Dog & Hat and the Lost Polka Dots

Lauren Stohler Author Of Gnome and Rat

From the list on early graphic novels with unique vibes.

Who am I?

I'm an author/illustrator of picture books and early graphic novels! I love stories that are immersive, transformative, and moody. Some of my favorite vibes come from: smelling freshly-shaved pencils in autumn, hearing a great song for the first time, and finding exactly the right book when you need it!

Lauren's book list on early graphic novels with unique vibes

Why did Lauren love this book?

The vibe is: eye candy with a heart of gold!

Dog & Hat gently puts down the rule book – and so should you – in order to take a vibrantly original (and amazingly strange) ride. Dog's favorite shirt has lost its polka dots, and Dog & Hat embark upon a quest through the city's sewers to recover them. On their way, they meet technicolor characters and cross through eye-vibrating landscapes.

Every page contains multitudes: from gamuts of color to fun facts to a full tapestry of easter-egg details. Dog & Hat is as much pure art as it is storybook. Expose kids to this book in order to keep their creativity flying through the air in wild, glorious pieces. (First in a series!)

By Darin Shuler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dog & Hat and the Lost Polka Dots as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With its distinctive, comic strip-like art style and lighthearted, off-the-wall concept, this chapter book is a breath of fresh air for brand-new readers! Dog and Hat are two of the best friends you could ever hope to meet - they are practically inseparable. When the dots on Dog's favorite shirt get lost down a storm drain, it's up to him and Hat to wander through the twisting underbelly of the city to find them. As they navigate a labyrinth of sewers, they encounter a dark but exciting new world, unforeseen dangers, and help in unexpected places. Magic, humor, and curiosities…

Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book)

By Julie Falatko, Tim J. Miller (illustrator),

Book cover of Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book)

Marty Kelley Author Of Almost Everybody Farts

From the list on to laugh so hard milk shoots out your nose.

Who am I?

I’m a full-time author and illustrator, and a recovering second grade teacher. I visit with tens of thousands of kids at schools every year and love sharing funny books with them. I’ve written and illustrated over 30 published books and know that kids appreciate subtle humor as well as in-your-face hilarity. I love writing stories that will make readers laugh and think. But mostly laugh.

Marty's book list on to laugh so hard milk shoots out your nose

Why did Marty love this book?

Another brilliant gem of a book, Snappsy the Alligator is just trying to go about his day, but the annoying narrator of the book insists that he behave in certain ways. This book cleverly considers what the role of character is in a book and how the characters function in their story. Adults will appreciate the sophistication of the concept while younger readers will laugh hysterically at Snappsy’s attempts to be himself despite what the narrator thinks he should do.

By Julie Falatko, Tim J. Miller (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is he prowling for defenseless birds and soft, fuzzy bunnies? ls Snappsy a big, mean alligator who's obsessed with snack foods that start with the letter P? It's no wonder Snappsy won't invite the narrator to his party! Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) is an irreverent look at storytelling, friendship, and creative differences from a pair of rising stars in the picture book world.

Chez Bob

By Bob Shea,

Book cover of Chez Bob

Becky Scharnhorst Author Of My School Stinks!

From the list on fiercely funny friendships.

Who am I?

Three of my favorite things are reading, writing, and laughing. So, of course, my favorite books are usually the ones that make me giggle. I also have a slightly dark sense of humor which means I have a soft spot for books where one of the characters may get eaten. But I think the very best books are ones where unexpected friendships occur instead. So often our perceptions about others are wrong, and if we just take the time to get to know the animal (or person) behind those extra sharp teeth, we may find we have more in common than we realized. 

Becky's book list on fiercely funny friendships

Why did Becky love this book?

A book about a lazy alligator who opens a restaurant on his nose so he doesn’t have to chase birds before eating them? Yes, please! I’ve always been a huge fan of Bob Shea’s work, but this book is next-level awesome. The voice is impeccable! It’s impossible to read this book without slipping into your best lazy alligator voice. The masterfully chosen words will draw it right out of you. I didn’t even know I had a lazy alligator voice until I read this book. My husband is not nearly as enamored with children’s books as I am, but even he loved Chez Bob and laughed a total of 11 times. There is no doubt this book is fiercely funny, but it is also utterly charming. Seeing Bob’s affection grow for his feathered friends is what makes him an endearing and enduring character. 

By Bob Shea,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chez Bob as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Welcome to Chez Bob, which seems like a real restaurant...until you's on an alligator's NOSE! Bob's got a hidden plan for his customers: "Birds will come to eat, but I will eat the birds!" As they fly in from all over the world to dine on Bob's face, something starts to happen that takes the lazy, hungry reptile by surprise -- the birds stay. "More yummy birds!" he rejoices -- he'll want for nothing! But when the time is right, will Bob make the right choice?

Comic genius Bob Shea cooks up a tasty tale that proves anyone, even…

But Not Forgotten

By BJ Bourg,

Book cover of But Not Forgotten

Paul W. Papa Author Of Night Mayer: Legend of the Skinwalker

From the list on offbeat noir you need to read.

Who am I?

So why have I chosen noir? I’m glad you asked. Ever since I picked up my first Raymond Chandler book—The Lady in the Lake—I have been a fan of the genre, so much so that I write in it almost exclusively. I watch all the old movies on Noir Alley every Saturday night—or whenever I can find one on TV. And while I tend to gravitate to the works of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammet, and Erle Stanley Gardner, I'm always on the hunt for new authors. I also very much enjoy when someone takes the genre in a new direction, which is why I created this list.

Paul's book list on offbeat noir you need to read

Why did Paul love this book?

I have to admit, this book is a bit of a personal indulgence. I’ve always been fascinated by the swamps of Louisiana and the mysteries that hide in those murky waters. Add a human arm in the mouth of an alligator and you’ve definitely gotten my attention. Some day I’m going to write a book that is set there—I just haven’t figured out a storyline yet—but when I do, I hope it’s half as good as BJ Bourg’s first book in his Clint Wolf series. I know it’s a cliché, but this book really did grab me from the start and, I guarantee, the end of the first chapter will haunt you, just as it haunts Clint Wolf.   

By BJ Bourg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked But Not Forgotten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Embattled former detective Clint Wolf is the newly appointed police chief for Mechant Loup, a small swampy town in southeast Louisiana. Usually a quiet town, the tranquility of the place is shattered when a human arm is found in the jowls of an alligator. Once it’s determined the arm belongs to a reputable business owner, the race is on to find the man and figure out what happened to him. Little does Clint know that solving the case could unearth a plot so evil it would go down as the worst event in Louisiana history . . . and he…

Book cover of Gator Aide (Rachel Porter Mysteries)

Pamela Beason Author Of Endangered

From the list on women sleuths in wild places.

Who am I?

Nature is my passion. As an avid hiker, kayaker, snowshoer, and occasional scuba diver, nothing thrills me more than observing wild species in their native environments. Freedom from the constant noise of civilization helps maintain my sanity. I want to share my passion for the endless fascination and solace of nature with my readers, and I also enjoy using my ten years of experience as a private investigator to craft each mystery. And last but never least, I relish strong characters who must rely on their own ingenuity to solve problems, so using a setting where 911 cannot immediately deliver help is a key element in many of my stories. 

Pamela's book list on women sleuths in wild places

Why did Pamela love this book?

The Rachel Porter Mysteries by Jessica Speart are not well known, but they deserve to be. These books are available now only as Kindle ebooks and used mass-market paperbacks. Based on years of experience as an investigative journalist focusing on wildlife law enforcement and endangered species issues, the author created protagonist Rachel Porter, a new wildlife agent who is determined to protect animals wherever she is assigned, no matter what dangers and challenges may erupt from the environment, the local citizens, or her own bosses, who typically believe that she doesn’t belong in the field. Speart writes amazing scenes that are both suspenseful and funny, a trick that as an author I envy. I learned a lot about the illegal wildlife trade in each book, and I never tired of the quirky characters and Rachel’s fearless dedication to protecting wildlife at all costs

By Jessica Speart,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Gator Aide (Rachel Porter Mysteries) as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Investigating the death of an alligator that was found chained near the body of a murdered prostitute, rookie Fish & Wildlife Agent Rachel Porter learns that the creature was being used to smuggle heroin. Original.


By John Patrick Green,

Book cover of InvestiGators

Steve Metzger Author Of The Bumble Brothers: Crazy for Comics!

From the list on graphic reads for reluctant readers.

Who am I?

I was a classroom teacher for 15 years who transitioned to writing children’s books. Starting with picture books, I now write graphic novels. My target audience is 2nd-5th graders and they really get my wacky sense of humor. My passion for silly comedy, from Abbott and Costello to the Marx Brothers, started at an early age and infuses my mission to help reluctant readers become enthusiastic and proficient readers. I feel strongly about this goal because I was once a reluctant reader and I can appreciate what these kids might be going through.

Steve's book list on graphic reads for reluctant readers

Why did Steve love this book?

I love “noir” movies…don’t you?

Well, John Patrick Green has done the incredible job of combining a dark mystery with a graphic-novel format to create the first book in this irresistible series: InvestiGators.

When Gustavo, the world-famous cupcake chef, goes missing, Mango and Batch, two bumbling crime-fighting alligators, are on the case!

Packed with crazy gadgets, running gags (a mustache that incomprehensibly travels from face to face), dopey puns, and zany characters like Cici Boringstories (the news reporter), Dr. Jake Hardbones (the brain surgeon), and Houdino (don’t ask), this page-turner will have reluctant-reader middle graders – including my inner ten-year-old – laughing out loud and asking for more!

By John Patrick Green,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked InvestiGators as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Meet the InvestiGators. With their gadgets, know-how, and super-fast transportation system (they flush themselves down toilets to speed through the sewers!), Mango and Brash are the scourge of the super-villain landscape! As vest-wearing employees of the Special Undercover Investigation Teams, they solve all kinds of mysteries and frequently butt heads with their archnemesis: a former agent known as Crackerdile.

Riddled with puns, potty humour, absurdism, and hilarious twists, InvestiGators is the perfect series for Dog Man fans looking for their next great read! It's kid-friendly comics at their best.

Book cover of Alan's Big, Scary Teeth

Claire Freedman Author Of Aliens Love Underpants!

From the list on laugh out loud pictures for 3-5 yr olds.

Who am I?

I've written over 100 picture books for children, and am best known for the Aliens Love Underpants series of books, some of which have been turned into touring theatre shows worldwide, and TV animations. My books are all fiction picture books, aimed at children aged from babyhood to seven years. I write gentle bedtime stories to lull your little ones to sleep, fun and zany laugh-out-loud stories, rhyming books, and encouraging and inspiring tales to make children smile and reach for the sky. I enjoy visiting schools and libraries via Zoom, and love to share my passion for reading and writing, to hopefully encourage the next generation of budding young authors.

Claire's book list on laugh out loud pictures for 3-5 yr olds

Why did Claire love this book?

Alan the crocodile is famed for his big razor-sharp scary teeth. Oh-oh!

Everyday Alan goes sneaking into the jungle to scare all the animals. But Alan has a big secret! What he really loves is to relax and run a warm mud bath and take out his false scary teeth! When, one day Alan’s false teeth go missing, he is frantic. Can he still be scary without them?

A very amusing uplifting story with fabulous, bright illustrations.

By Jarvis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Alan's Big, Scary Teeth as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An alligator who snaps, becomes an alligator who th-naps in this hilarious, heart-warming story of making new friends and discovering who you really are.

The Winner of the 2017 V&A Best Illustrated Book Award

Meet Alan, an alligator with a secret. Famed for his big, scary teeth, he sneaks into the jungle every day to scare the jungle animals ... "I'm big, scary Alan! Fear my razor-sharp teeth!" But after a long day of scaring, Alan likes nothing better than to run a warm mud bath and take out his false teeth, which nobody knows about! That is, until his…

Maximum Bob

By Elmore Leonard,

Book cover of Maximum Bob

Susie Black Author Of Death by Cutting Table

From the list on authors who create the zaniest characters.

Who am I?

To be a successful sales exec, required my being an observant student of human nature. The same skill applied to my becoming a successful author. I discovered the most unforgettable people I encountered throughout my career were a lot like the zany oddballs my favorite authors created and the perfect models to base my cast of characters on. 

Susie's book list on authors who create the zaniest characters

Why did Susie love this book?

As a woman who was raised to have a moral compass, I am outraged whenever someone in authority abuses their power and gets away with it.

While I don’t condone revenge, nonetheless, I have to admit I cheered when lewd, lecherous, law-bending Florida Judge Robert “Maximum Bob” Gibbs finally gets his comeuppance and is judged guilty by a grudge-bearing malefactor and sentenced to death-by alligator, a unique means of execution, to say the least.

Ingenious, more than slightly off-kilter Elmore Leonard is the undisputed king of criminal mayhem. His wacky, raucous Maximum Bob is a delightfully dark humorous tale chocked full of zany characters; a group of magnificent miscreants Mr. Leonard created, knowing his readers would love to hate.

By Elmore Leonard,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Maximum Bob as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The New York Times bestselling author of Be Cool and Get Shorty

When someone delivers an alligator to Judge Bob Gibbs' porch, there's no shortage of suspects - hard-sentencing, womanising redneck 'Maximum Bob' is pretty much the most unpopular man in Florida.

Throw into the mix the Crowe clan - about as primitive and aggressive as any alligator - a doped-up doctor on early release with a tag, quick-witted probation officer Kathy Baker, a mermaid and a long-dead slave girl called Wanda, and things get a tad complicated. And inevitably, they don't work out the way you might expect...

A Mother for Choco

By Keiko Kasza,

Book cover of A Mother for Choco

Marcy Pusey Author Of Speranza's Sweater: A Child's Journey Through Foster Care and Adoption

From the list on for foster and adoptive families.

Who am I?

As a birth, foster, adoptive, and pseudo mom to many children, I know firsthand how hard it is to find quality literature that reflects their experience and gives them skills for their own life journey. As a therapist, certified in trauma and resilience, having spent many years in social services, I also see the lack of resources available to caregivers, teachers, and counselors. It's my passion to help remove shame, build resilience, and reclaim hope in the lives of each member of these families. I’ve done this through a TEDx talk on the power of story on the brain, authored multiple books, speak regularly, offer trainings, and private parent coaching.

Marcy's book list on for foster and adoptive families

Why did Marcy love this book?

A Mother for Choco is a classic in the world of adoption books. Told through the lens of a bird looking for his mama, children learn that not all family members look alike! So many foster and adoptive children (and even the children of multi-ethnic birth families!) struggle to identify their place in a family that looks different from them. This story helps to shape the idea that family members can have different hair color, skin color, height, and other varying features from the parents or siblings of the home—and still be family. This is so powerful and important for kids developing their sense of identity and belonging, regardless of their origin.

By Keiko Kasza,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked A Mother for Choco as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Family is about love no matter how different parents and children may be, adopted or not.

Choco wishes he had a mother, but who could she be? He sets off to find her, asking all kinds of animals, but he doesn't meet anyone who looks just like him. He doesn't even think of asking Mrs. Bear if she's his mother-but then she starts to do just the things a mommy might do. And when she brings him home, he meets her other children-a piglet, a hippo, and an alligator-and learns that families can come in all shapes and sizes and…


By Karen Russell,

Book cover of Swamplandia!

Ginger Pinholster Author Of Snakes of St. Augustine

From the list on featuring Florida in a big way.

Who am I?

My second novel, Snakes of St. Augustine, describes an unconventional love story served up with a large side of Florida weirdness. My first novel, City in a Forest, received a Gold Royal Palm Literary Award from the Florida Writers Association in 2020. My short fiction and essays have appeared in Pangyrus, Eckerd Review, Northern Virginia Review, Atticus Review, and elsewhere. I earned my bachelor’s degree in English from Eckerd College and the M.F.A. in Fiction from Queens University of Charlotte. Currently, I’m a writer for a university in Daytona Beach, Florida. A resident of Ponce Inlet, I began volunteering with the Volusia-Flagler Sea Turtle Patrol in 2018.

Ginger's book list on featuring Florida in a big way

Why did Ginger love this book?

On a remote island off Florida’s southwest coast, the Bigtree family survives by wrestling alligators for tourists at Swamplandia!, but a brand new amusement park threatens their livelihood.

Southern Gothic at its most extreme, with elements of magical realism, Swamplandia! features a teen sister who courts ghosts following the death of her mother, a predator named Bird Man, a restless brother named Kiwi, and vulnerable thirteen-year-old Ava. Stephen King, whose work influenced Russell’s style, praised Swamplandia! as “brilliant, funny, [and] original.” 

By Karen Russell,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Swamplandia! as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller | Pulitzer Prize Finalist

"Ms. Russell is one in a million. . . . A suspensfuly, deeply haunted book."--The New York Times

Thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life at Swamplandia!, her family’s island home and gator-wrestling theme park in the Florida Everglades. But when illness fells Ava’s mother, the park’s indomitable headliner, the family is plunged into chaos; her father withdraws, her sister falls in love with a spooky character known as the Dredgeman, and her brilliant big brother, Kiwi, defects to a rival park called The World of Darkness.

As Ava sets out…

The Great Escape

By Peter Lippman,

Book cover of The Great Escape: Or, the Sewer Story

Chris Harris Author Of My Head Has a Bellyache: And More Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups

From the list on kids and grown-ups will laugh, gasp, and grin at.

Who am I?

Reading with your kid can be a delight, but it’s tough to find a book that both grown-up and child think is hysterical. I mean, I tried reading Catch-22 to my three-year-old, but for some reason the incisive social commentary just didn’t resonate with her. My kids and I both let out genuine chuckles and guffaws while reading all of these books—an experience that I treasured. These books are all giggly, snickery proof that you don’t have to dumb things down to appeal to a wide age range—a goal that I aim for myself in the children’s books and TV shows that I write. 

Chris' book list on kids and grown-ups will laugh, gasp, and grin at

Why did Chris love this book?

The silly, rollicking picture-book saga of how all the alligators in the sewers of New York (remember that urban legend?) got tired of their plight and banded together to escape to sunny Florida. It’s as funny as it sounds, and a great child’s introduction to the heist/escape genre of stories.

Best of all, every page is packed with funny bits and pieces of dialogue from alligators, humans, and alligators-pretending-to-be-humans. I never encountered this growing up, but we got a copy as a gift since my son and one of the alligators share a name (why-oh-why did I name my son Tick-Tock? (just kidding—it’s Silas)).

Get all your different voices ready—you’ll need them for reading this one aloud. Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile is another great crocodilian tale for all ages.

By Peter Lippman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Great Escape as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.