cover image Crocky Dilly

Crocky Dilly

Philemon Sturges. Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), $14.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87846-458-6

Hieroglyphics and limericklike rhymes meld fact and fancy in this rather flimsy glimpse of ancient Egypt. Crocky Dilly, a modern crocodile wearing a denim jumper, takes her name from an ancestor who lived ""where the wide mouth of the green, greasy Nile/ Begins to spread out like a crocodile's smile."" Crocky indicates a generalized map of the Nile delta, circa 3000 B.C. Then she gives an account of how her ""Mummy's Mum's Mum"" helped unite Egypt's kingdoms under King Menes and came to represent the god Sobek. Sturges (Bridges Are to Cross) tells this semi-educational tale in perky verse, punning on ""mummy"" and making light reference to the ""crocodile tears"" shed at the original Crocky's death. An afterword describes the first pharaoh and sacred crocodiles, tactfully avoiding any mention of ritual sacrifice in the account of animal mummies. Miglio (So Many Bunnies), working in colored pencil and watercolor, imagines an idealized riverscape of fan-shaped papyrus plants, water lilies, blue-green water and sandy shores. Her anthropomorphic crocs, ibis and hippos add to the overall cuteness of a book that strives, with only moderate success, to introduce beginners to Egyptology. Ages 3-6. (Nov.)