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Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
28 November 2011
Primary & middle schools; Humour; Children's & Educational; School editions of fiction texts
Alex just has to convince his mom to let him have an iguana. He promises that she won't have to feed it or clean its cage or even see it if she doesn't want to, but all Mom can imagine is the iguana growing larger and messier until it takes over the entire house.

Hilarious notes go back and forth as Alex negotiates with his mother, using all his powers of persuasion, while their polar-opposite dreams of life with and iguana are shown in David Catrow's hysterical illustrations.

See how clever and funny family debates can be!
By:   Karen Kaufman Orloff
Illustrated by:   David Catrow
Imprint:   Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 277mm,  Width: 222mm,  Spine: 10mm
Weight:   410g
ISBN:   9780399237171
ISBN 10:   0399237178
Pages:   32
Publication Date:   28 November 2011
Audience:   Children/juvenile ,  Primary & secondary/elementary & high school ,  English as a second language ,  Children's (6-12)
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Karen Kaufman Orloff is the author of many books for children including I Wanna Iguana, I Wanna New Room, and I Wanna Go Home, all inspired by her son's pet iguana who quickly grew to be over four feet long and take over his room. She also writes a humorous column on family life every other week for The Poughkeepsie Journal. David Catrow is the illustrator of many picture books including Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon and its sequel Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon, written by Patty Lovell; I Wanna Iguana and its two companion books I Wanna New Room and I Wanna Go Home, written by Karen Kaufman Orloff; Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel; The Middle Child Blues by Kristyn Crow; and We the Kids: the Preamble to the Constitution. He lives in Ohio with his wife, Deborah.

Reviews for I Wanna Iguana

In epistolary dialogue with his mom, a lad yearning for an iguana tries various approaches, from logic and sweet talk to emotional blackmail. His mother puts up a valiant defense- Dear Mom: Did you know that iguanas are really quiet and they're cute too. I think they are much cuter than hamsters. Love, your adorable son, Alex. Dear Alex: Tarantulas are quiet too -before ultimately capitulating. Catrow's scribbly, lurid, purple-and-green illustrations bring the diverse visions of parent and child to hilarious life, as a lizard of decidedly indeterminate ancestry grows in stages to the size of a horse, all the while exhibiting a doglike affection toward its balloon-headed prospective keeper-who is last seen posed by a new terrarium, pumping a fist in victory. A familiar domestic interchange, played out with broad comedy-and mutual respect, too. (Picture book. 7-9) (Kirkus Reviews)


  • Commended for Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award 2006
  • Commended for Florida Children's Book Award 2006
  • Short-listed for California Young Reader Medal (Primary) 2008
  • Short-listed for Georgia Children's Book Award (Picture Storybook) 2007

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