Friday, February 11, 2011

Never Smile at a Crocodile by Jack Lawrence

Rating 5 out of 5
Category: Children's Books / Children's Hardback Picturebooks
ISBN: 9781741696943
Format: HardCover
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: 01/11/2010
Age Group: 0-8 (ok and probably most adults)

Never Smile at a Crocodile is a beautifully illustrated book about the childhood favorite song. When I bought this book I didn't realise it was an Australian author. I got it mostly because where we live there are plenty of crocodiles so I thought the topic appropriate for my son.

You can’t help but not like this book. It is certainly a favorite for us.

The story is the lyrics from the song. Words wise they have kept it exactly the same. There are no surprises. If you know the song you know the story.

The art work by Shane Devries is delightful and detailed. The backgrounds are well imagined as he takes the reader from swamps, to jungles, to the circus and then the city. Lots of colours used but they are more earthy in colour and shade. The animals depicted are full of character and life.

The main characters are a cheeky monkey (who defies the advice and smiles at said crocodile), a rabbit, and a guinea pig interacting with a very large crocodile. The images are fun and the characters are cartoon in nature. By that I mean they have the big round eyes, round bodies, and big toothy smiles.

This book is so much fun to read. As you know the song it’s very easy to slip into the rhythm of the song. My only quibble is the line “You may very well be well bred”, it can be a little hard to wrap your tongue around if you’re not paying attention. I wish they had updated the line a little but never mind. It's still charming to read and will give you a chance to explain the meaning of the term and later the word etiquette.

This book comes with a CD that adds a whole different level to the book. It is sung by Play School favorite Jay Laga'aia. His version is fun and playful and great to have playing along as you look at the book.

If you can get your hands on a copy of this book, you wont be disappointed.

Interesting Fact:
The song Never smile at a crocodile was originally written for Disney’s Peter Pan, although the lyrics were never used in the film but the tune was.

1 comment:

  1. Another kids books to add to my list. Love the song and cheeky monkeys :)