Kidz Book Buzz Blog Tour: Crocodaddy (Review)

I’m pretty tough when it comes to picture books. There are so many printed each year—which are the good stories, and which are the best stories?

Every household has a mountain of old favorites, which means new books don’t just scuffle with each other. They compete against the likes of Shirley Hughes, Rosemary Wells and Don & Audrey Wood. Which means an author/illustrator team has to be bloody brilliant to break out.

I read Crocodaddy, by Kim Norman, to a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old. They listen to anything, and they did enjoy the story: their reviews will go up tomorrow. But today’s viewpoint is that of a critical older-sister/children’s-librarian/former-picture-book-connoisseur. Crocodaddy is cute, but not break-out material.

Rhyming books are difficult to do well, and the couplet style is not a favorite of mine. Some lines worked: “That’s how you tame a Crocodaddy pet … (you don’t need a rope and you don’t need a net!)" But other lines felt crowded and choppy.

The illustrations are engaging. Both kids enjoyed the colors. But while the concept was great (daddy playing with his son, pretending to be a crocodile), the text fell short for me.

3 comments:

sally apokedak said...

very interesting, Noel. I loved this book, but I'm always interesting in the opinions of others, even when they are wrong. heh heh I'm kidding.

I love Shirley Hughes. She may be my favorite PB writer. Well, of the longer text variety.

I look forward to reviews from the two young book lovers who have discovered so many uses for a book. You can read it, hide behind it, or use it as a teeny-tiny tent. Amazing!

Noel De Vries said...

They were wound that night ... we took all those pictures, then Henry (4) finally asked, "So are we going to read this book or what?"

If you're looking for a more enthusiastic review, stay tuned tomorrow. :)

Becky said...

Noel, I loved this book. I found the rhyming rolled right off my tongue and when I read it to the 4's in my library, they loved it too. I look forward to seeing the review from your kids tomorrow. It's funny how we all relate to books differently.
Becky in Salt Lake City