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Crocodile Listens Hardcover – August 21, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

reS-Gr 3-A crocodile waits and listens, ignoring the giraffes thumping by, the warthogs tromping, and the croaking frog that would make a wonderful snack. Finally, she hears her babies' cries and she digs them out of the sand so they can hatch. Using beautifully simple language ("Like an ancient dinosaur/with scraggly teeth-"), Sayre introduces information about the Nile crocodile while maintaining the immediacy of a story. Suspense adds to the narrative: "She has not eaten for weeks.-/Yet for some reason,/she only listens." Stammen's illustrations have an almost photographic reality at times, perfectly portraying the fierceness with which the mother guards her babies, and the gentle way she cracks an eggshell between her enormous teeth to help release the infant trapped inside. The animal sounds integrated into the text will make this a hit at storytimes, and an endnote gives additional facts about the Nile crocodile.

Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Carroll County Public Library, Eldersburg, MD

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

April Pulley Sayre is the author of numerous books for children, including If You Should Hear a Honey Guide, which was named "the outstanding natural history book of 1995" by Smithsonian Magazine. April Pulley Sayre lives with her husband in South Bend, Indiana.


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Grade Level: Preschool and up
  • Hardcover: 24 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (August 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688165044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688165048
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,969,068 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

April Pulley Sayre loves the sounds of animals and the sounds of words. She is an award-winning author of over 55 natural history books for children and adults. Her read-aloud books, known for their lyricism and scientific precision, have been translated into French, Dutch, Japanese, and Korean. Her picture book VULTURE VIEW, illustrated by Steve Jenkins, received the Theodor "Seuss" Geisel Honor from the American Library Association. STARS BENEATH YOUR BED: the Surprising Story of Dust, received the AAAS/SB&F/Subaru Prize for Excellence in Science Books and was named an ALA Notable. ONE IS SNAIL, TEN IS A CRAB was an ALA Notable and received Britain's highest literacy award. THE BUMBLEBEE QUEEN marked her third win of the John Burroughs Award. Sayre and her husband Jeff have followed lemurs in Madagascar, pursued army ants in Panama, and eaten piranha in the Peruvian Amazon. Mostly, though, they garden for wildlife and munch blueberries at their home in the Midwest.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 27, 2002
Format: Library Binding
With the repetition of sounds -- the thump, thump, thump of galloping giraffes; the tromp, tromp, tromp of trotting warthogs; the croak, croak, croak of calling frogs; and the adorable beeeeyo, beeeeyo, beeeeyo calls of the baby crocodiles -- this book begs to be read aloud. For a good storyteller, there is a lot to work with. It's truly fun to read with the frequent animal noises happening on every page.
Sadly, I can't say the same for the story itself. It's rather bland. The suspense is contrived. Development of the plot gets lost in the author's attempt to slide in bits of information about the crocodile. The main point, the reason the Crocodile Listens, that she is listening for her babies to hatch, takes a minor role.
Even with all the fun noises, neither of my crocodile-interested boys (4 & 2.5), ask for this book much. They *do* enjoy the noises and, oddly enough, remark every time on the croc being a Nile crocodile. Beyond that, their interest wanes.
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