The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water (PPBF)


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.


About Cathy Ballou Mealey

Children's book author, repped by Liza Fleissig of the Liza Royce Agency. Wife, mother, daughter, sister, alumna, autism advocate, book reviewer. Reach me via email at or Twitter @catballoumealey
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

45 Responses to The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water (PPBF)

  1. izatrapani1 says:

    What a cute crocodile! I love the cover design.

  2. rnewman504 says:

    This book sounds too adorable for words. I love the illustrations. Great review, Cathy!

  3. I love your excitement over the book. That alone will nudge me to find it. Sounds like a very entertaining book with a satisfying ending. Love the cover!

  4. Catherine Johnson says:

    You would be great in sales Cathy. I can’t wait to read this now.

  5. I haven’t heard of this one, but will look for it. It sounds really cute! Thanks, Cathy.

  6. You know you’ve got a problem your mouth waters when you saw the cover of this book! Yep. Thanks, Cathy!

  7. This really looks cute. Thanks for telling me about it. I will definitely check it out.

  8. The premise got me (croc who prefers climbing trees to splashing about in water) then your review sealed the deal.

  9. That toe in the water pic made me snort.

  10. tinamcho says:

    Your excitement over this book is contagious!

  11. Sue Wang says:

    Nice, Cathy! The title is catchy, and I resonate with it… 😉 I like carefully placed text too -that’s thoughtfulness and quality. A good day to ready about water since yesterday was HOT.

  12. This book sounds hilarious! I must get it! 😀

  13. Dana Carey says:

    I’m intrigued! I want to see this book, Cathy. Thanks!

  14. Wow – thanks, Cathy. Never would have heard of this one. Love the textures in the paintings. Sounds like it oozes charm.

  15. clarbojahn says:

    I’ll be looking for this one this summer! I love the cover and adorableness.

    Your review really made me want to read it. 🙂

  16. I read this excellent review with the eyes and ears of my 4 and 5 year old grandchildren. Yup, gonna have to buy this book. Sounds fabulous.

  17. This looks like a lot of fun. Now on my to-read list. 🙂 I always love your recommendations!

  18. “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.”
    I’m convinced! I just put it on hold!!!
    (As you can see, I’m a wee bit behind with my blog reading!)

  19. Pingback: August Picture Book 10 for 10: The 2014 Edition | bildebok from Cathy Ballou Mealey

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s