THE SELFISH CROCODILE

A weak story that has echoes of familiar folktales, but no resonance. A selfish crocodile who lived “deep in the forest” commands all the other animals to stay away from the river, which he considers his. “I’ll eat you up!” he warns. The animals have to walk “for miles out of their way” to find drinking water. One day the crocodile has a toothache, and when the others are too frightened to get close, a mouse pulls the tooth and promises to help him in the future. Consequently, the crocodile invites all the creatures to enjoy the river, although the connection between having a friend and declaring open house is left vague. The illustrations have a greeting-card charm, with 13 animals trudging off for water bearing the same pop-eyed, frowning expression. When the crocodile groans in pain, the animals don’t look toward the source of sound, but up in the air at the words “GROAN . . . GROAN.” (Picture book. 3-7)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1999

ISBN: 1-888444-56-8

Page Count: 28

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1999

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DAVID GOES TO SCHOOL

The poster boy for relentless mischief-makers everywhere, first encountered in No, David! (1998), gives his weary mother a rest by going to school. Naturally, he’s tardy, and that’s but the first in a long string of offenses—“Sit down, David! Keep your hands to yourself! PAY ATTENTION!”—that culminates in an afterschool stint. Children will, of course, recognize every line of the text and every one of David’s moves, and although he doesn’t exhibit the larger- than-life quality that made him a tall-tale anti-hero in his first appearance, his round-headed, gap-toothed enthusiasm is still endearing. For all his disruptive behavior, he shows not a trace of malice, and it’ll be easy for readers to want to encourage his further exploits. (Picture book. 5-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-590-48087-1

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1999

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NO MATTER WHAT

Small, a very little fox, needs some reassurance from Large in the unconditional love department. If he is grim and grumpy, will he still be loved? “ ‘Oh, Small,’ said Large, ‘grumpy or not, I’ll always love you, no matter what.’ “ So it goes, in a gentle rhyme, as Large parries any number of questions that for Small are very telling. What if he were to turn into a young bear, or squishy bug, or alligator? Would a mother want to hug and hold these fearsome animals? Yes, yes, answers Large. “But does love wear out? Does it break or bend? Can you fix it or patch it? Does it mend?” There is comfort in Gliori’s pages, but it is a result of repetition and not the imagery; this is a quick fix, not an enduring one, but it eases Small’s fears and may well do the same for children. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1999

ISBN: 0-15-202061-6

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1999

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