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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Crocodile Books

This review is a part of Kid Konnection, hosted by Booking Mama, a collection of children's book-related posts over the weekend.

I have not one, but two girlfriends with small daughters who want lots and lots of picture books of crocodiles or alligators. One friend’s daughter will be going to an elementary school where the mascot is an alligator. The other friend is from coastal southern South Carolina where alligators aren’t that uncommon and she thinks they’re cute. So whenever I run across a croc/gator book, I pass it along to them! Being on the lookout for croc/alligator books makes me realize how popular some animals are (bears, dogs, penguins) in the picture book world, and some aren’t.

I'd Really Like to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnio, illustrations by Dorothee de Monfreid
I love this book. The premise tickles me, and the writing is as cute as you hope from the title. A young crocodile thinks he’s big enough that he doesn’t have to eat the baby food his parents feed him anymore. He’s big enough to eat a person. But he’s realistic: he thinks a small person would be enough for him. Sadly for his aspirations, he is still much, much smaller than a child who, when he finally encounters her, thinks he is adorable and picks him up.

Clarabella’s Teeth by An Vrombaut
This is the favorite book of one of my little friends. The story is cute, about how Clarabella with her many, many, many teeth has to spend so much time brushing her teeth that she doesn’t have any time left to play with her friends. But it bothered me that she was brushing her teeth with a toothbrush as I had such fond memories of…

Bill and Pete by Tomie DePaola
Bill is a crocodile. Pete is a plover bird. Plovers clean the teeth of crocodiles. It would be nice if my toothbrush could talk to me and hang out and give me advice and help me not get turned into a suitcase. Sadly, mine just sits there, pink, dripping, mute.

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber
Another childhood favorite is Lyle. He lives in a lovely apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with the Primms, and when he unfortunately ends up in the zoo, not only is he very unhappy, but he eventually is able to move back to the apartment (obviously not a PETA-approved storyline.) I like having a sweet, conscientious, friendly crocodile as the protagonist, going against stereotypes.

These books I personally have not read but are more picture books featuring crocodiles/alligators:
Camping Day by Patricia Lakin
Doodle Bites by Polly Dunbar

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