cover image Crocodiles Are the Best Animals of All!

Crocodiles Are the Best Animals of All!

Sean Taylor, Author, Hannah Shaw, Illustrator , illus. by Hanna

The titular assertion of this lighthearted story gets put to the test when a donkey, seen lounging by the sea, reflects that “nothing is better than being a donkey!” This offends the honor of a nearby crocodile: “ 'I am better !' came a loud boast./ 'I could eat you for breakfast with buttered toast!' ” Animals gather to offer the crocodile challenges, but the reptile pulls off each task without a hitch—swinging through the trees like an orangutan, eating grass like rabbits (“I nibble grass and seedlings and shoots!/ I even chomp up Wellington boots!”), and besting a goat at mountain-climbing—before falling short in an unexpected area. Shaw's (Sneaky Weasel ) anthropomorphized cartoon creatures have a hint of Steig about them. And while Taylor's (The Great Snake ) goofy rhymes aren't strong on metric precision (“He bounced about like a basket ball,/ chuckling 'Crocodiles are the best animals of all!' ”) they make up for it with pure exuberance. The crocodile's braggadocio and the poke in the ribs he gets at the end make this an amusing entry in the bedtime reading pile. Ages 3–6. (Dec.)