Crocodile's Masterpiece

Max Velthujis, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $14 (1p) ISBN 978-0-374-31658-7
When Elephant asks his artist friend Crocodile for a painting to adorn his bare walls, Crocodile presents him with a ``really special'' offering--a blank canvas--and suggests that Elephant `` close his eyes and think of a picture.'' The pachyderm finds that he can conjure up any scene at will; he is delighted, and Crocodile becomes famous for his white canvases. Unlike Crocodile, Velthuijs ( Frog in Love ; Elephant and Crocodile ) creates sunny, expressive paintings whose appeal is obvious and immediate. But his story here is too cerebral: short on action and on childlike humor and concerns, it makes an overly adult, rather muddled and ultimately unpersuasive argument for the power of imagination. Fans of these friends' previous antics will likely be disappointed by this staid sequel. Ages 2-6. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/30/1992
Release date: 04/01/1992
Genre: Children's
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