Cross Crocodile by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway
|Cross Crocodile by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Keith Dudhnath|
|Summary: A fun African adventure, as the wild animals come together to teach the cross and greedy crocodile a lesson. Bookbag was a little disappointed by an earlier book in the series, but there are no such problems here. Recommended.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 32||Date: August 2009|
|Publisher: Hodder Children's Books|
There's no water on the Great African Plains, and Cross Crocodile sits beneath the mango tree, guzzling the sweet fruit and snapping at anoyone who dares to come near her. One day, monkey hits on a great idea for how the other animals can get to the fruit...
I had some misgivings about Handsome Hog, the previous book in the series. It compared unfavourably with the Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling. Cross Crocodile works so much better. At first I thought it might be because I had lower expectations this time round, but having looked at them side by side, Cross Crocodile is clearly the better book. Rather than being a look at how crocodiles became cross, it's a tale of an already cross crocodile and how the other animals try to trick her. Contradictory as it may sound, by presenting a slightly more traditional narrative, Cross Crocodile's originality has an opportunity to shine.
Handsome Hog's strengths are as prominent in Cross Crocodile: every young child is going to love the mix of action, adventure, a naughty character getting her comeuppance and a cheeky sense of fun. There's a strong but simple plot which makes it accessible to every child who enjoys picture books. It's an enjoyable read, and bears repeated readings without losing any of its shine.
As in Handsome Hog, Adrienne Kennaway's illustrations are gorgeous, with their vast African landscapes, and a cast of exciting tropical animals. They have a realistic air to them, which works really well, even despite the somewhat cartoony nature of the story. Any more realistic and the illustrations would be too serious; any less realistic and it'd take an edge off the quality.
I really enjoyed Cross Crocodile, more so given than Handsome Hog seemed like a missed opportunity. It's a fine addition to any bookshelf. Recommended.
My thanks to the publishers for sending it to Bookbag.
The best crocodile book bar none is I Really Want To Eat A Child by Sylviane Donnio and Dorothee de Monfreid - I could read it again and again and again, and still laugh like a drain every single time. Inspector Croc Investigates by Sam Lloyd and Sleepy or Not, Mr Croc? by Jo Lodge are more cartoony renditions of crocodiles, but still equally enjoyable. ROAR! by Margaret Mayo and Alex Ayliffe has a healthy smattering of wild animals. I Dare You by Reece Wykes might be a little too frightening for very young children.
You can read more book reviews or buy Cross Crocodile by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Cross Crocodile by Mwenye Hadithi and Adrienne Kennaway at Amazon.com.
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