I Wanna Iguana

This is a fun, and often funny, children’s book from Paradise children’s book author T. E. Watson about a boy who wants an iguana for a pet. Other kids in his class at school have iguanas, and he wants one too. The book is a list of reasons why he wants an iguana and what he’d do with it once he had one.

Much of its charm comes from the delightful illustrations by Michigan artist John Raptis. He’s visualized the iguana as an especially large creature, sometimes in contrast to Watson’s words. So, when the boy says “Iguanas are not real messy and they don’t take up much space,” the illustration shows his family eating dinner on the front lawn and the dinosaur-size iguana popping the roof off the house to peer out at them. My 6-year-old laughed out loud when we read this book together.

Watson’s text subtly weaves in lessons about caring for iguanas, and pets in general, without being preachy, but it does have a useful appendix called "The Care and Feeding of Iguanas."