A reading came alive for some local children when an alligator visited the Whitestone branch of the Queens library.
Children’s Librarian Susan Scatena promised that if at least 300 children registered for summer reading, and they collectively read at least 4,000 books, she would read a story to a “big, scaly, live alligator.”
According to the Queens Library, they surpassed that goal, with 344 children registering and completing 4,595 books.
On Thursday, Scatena read Mercer Mayer’s “There’s an Alligator Under My Bed” to Wally, a five-foot female alligator, and hundreds of neighborhood kids.
Wally was handled by reptile trainer Erik Callendar, who taught the children about alligators during the reading.
Yesterday’s reading wasn’t the first time Scatena has motivated her young readers with a “wild challenge.” Each year, she promises that if they meet their summer reading goals, she will perform an over-the-top stunt. Previously, she has sat in a tub of JELL-O; dressed in a rabbit suit and kissed a bunny; and cuddled an enormous python.