The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water
Written and illustrated by: Gemma Merino
NorthSouth Books, 2014
Suitable For Ages: 4-8
Themes/Topics: crocodiles, swimming, siblings
Opening: “Once upon a time, there was a little crocodile. And this little crocodile didn’t like water. He longed to play with his brothers and sisters. But they were far too busy with swim club. And this little crocodile didn’t like swim club.”
Brief Synopsis: Even though he doesn’t like water, little crocodile does like climbing trees. But no one else does, so he gets lonely. Croc finally summons his courage and dives in with the aid of a swim ring, but still can’t play ball or swim underwater. An ultimate kersplosh and a snoutful of water helps Croc discover why he had struggled all along.
Why I Like It: O.M.G. this book! The incredible range of expressions on the simplest of snaggly toothed little faces. The rich textures of waves, water and croc skin within a muted, perfect color palette. The way the text is carefully placed on the pages, perfectly underscoring the action. The super creative and adorable personalities of each spindly-limbed croc. The synchronized swimming! Little red slippers and rainboots! The endpages! I’ve far exceeded my allotment of exclamation marks, but suffice it to say that I ooh’ed and ahh’ed, giggled, squealed and sighed. Any book so short, sweet and uplifting with a funny twist ending and every imaginable read-it-again quality definitely belongs on the Perfect Picture Book list.
This is a debut picture book from Gemma Merino, an author-illustrator born in Spain and living in London. TCWDLW has been translated into French, German, Italian, Dutch, Korean, Swedish, Finnish and Spanish, and has won the Macmillan Picture Book Prize 2011, the Bishops Stortford Picture Book Award 2014, and Coventry Inspiration Book award 2014.
Links to Resources:
Go swimming! (siblings optional)
Make a cheeky paper crocodile.
Or make one from bubble wrap!
Run, don’t walk to your bookstore and/or library to get your hands on this marvelous story. Enjoy your summer while Perfect Picture Book Friday goes on hiatus! And find many more wonderful reads at the 101st edition of Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.