Dial-A-Croc

Mike Dumbleton, Author, Ann James, Illustrator Orchard Books (NY) $14.99 (1p) ISBN 978-0-531-05945-6
``Out in the outback, beyond the Back of Beyond,'' entrepreneurship lives. Young Vanessa traps a crocodile and gives him a choice: come with her and help her make piles of money or be turned into ``ten handbags and five pairs of shoes.'' After considering his options, the croc accompanies his captor. He then becomes the main attraction at the House of Horrors, gentle prodder to a swimming team (``If I catch them, may I eat them?'') and--thanks to his superb teeth--railway employee, ``punching tickets twenty at a time,'' all through the services of Dial-a-Croc. But, though rich and famous, the unhappy Croc longs for home. In his first children's book, Dumbleton presents a thoroughly likable, albeit unlikely, pair of professional partners. Never lacking in business acumen, Vanessa in the end demonstrates her humanity by revealing her deep affection for her scaly buddy. James's ( Prince Lachlan ) fanciful, slightly slapdash illustrations provide just the right complement to this lighthearted cautionary tale. Ages 4-7. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/29/1991
Release date: 08/01/1991
Prebound-Sewn - 1 pages - 978-0-606-08725-4
Paperback - 978-0-531-07059-8
Library Binding - 1 pages - 978-0-531-08545-5
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