Snakes, lizards and alligators made their way Wednesday into the Indian Trails Public Library -- some around the necks of lucky patrons.
The reptiles arrived at the Wheeling library as part of a presentation by Jim Nesci of Cold Blooded Creatures in Homer Glen.
Shreya Sriram, 10, of Buffalo Grove beamed and said, " I love reptiles," as she held an alligator in her arms.
Other children rode on Bubba, an 8-foot-long, 200-pound American alligator that has been trained by Nesci to be docile.
"You couldn't get him to open his mouth if you tried," Nesci said.
The alligator is the second "Bubba" that Nesci has owned and taken on television programs such as "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Live with Regis and Kathie Lee" and "The Today Show."
His presentation is designed to dispel myths about reptiles, such as snakes being evil and slimy, and educate people about conservation.
Twelve children lined up to hold an albino Burmese python as Nesci pointed out its value to humans because of its diet of grain-devouring rodents.
Not everybody, though, was eager to take a hands-on approach to learning about reptiles.
"I quit," Rose Johnson, of the library's children's services department, said jokingly when a 5-foot-long alligator was placed in her arms.