My Crocodile Does Not Bite

Joe Kulka. Carolrhoda, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7613-8937-8
Absurdity abounds in Kulka’s tale of a clever boy who knows that telling the truth—just not the whole truth—can be pretty entertaining. Ernest is excited for the school pet show, but when he tries to board the bus with his enormous pet crocodile, Gustave, heads turn and apprehension rises. “My crocodile does not bite! He’s very well trained,” Ernest assures everyone. After Ernest finally arrives at school—via Gustave, not via bus—the boy puts his pet through his paces and upstages the other students and their animals (at one point, Gustave juggles tennis balls while riding a unicycle and playing the harmonica), much to the chagrin of persnickety Cindy Lou and her puff of a puppy, Fifi. Although the characters’ poses often come across as wooden, Kulka (Wolf’s Coming) creates a quintessentially grumpy foil in sour-faced Cindy Lou, who’s decked out in pigtails and a pink dress that matches the color of her poodle. While Kulka doesn’t do much to create a sense of tension as the story progresses, the wicked twist of an ending should catch most readers by surprise. Ages 5–9. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/04/2013
Release date: 03/01/2013
Genre: Children's
Open Ebook - 32 pages - 978-1-4677-0955-2
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