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What Time Is It, Mr. Crocodile? Paperback – June 1, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3–Two picture-book talents join forces for some memorable monkey business in this entertaining tale. In the introductory spread, Mr. Crocodile lays out his intended schedule for the next day, but his best-laid plans go awry when the monkeys arrive. Sierra again demonstrates her considerable storytelling skill with a series of deftly rhymed answers to the repeated title question: "Time to take a quick look/for a recipe book./HURRY UP! HURRY UP!/I've got monkeys to cook." Although the story is vaguely reminiscent of several folktales involving cross crocodiles and mischievous monkeys, Mr. Crocodile ultimately shows a soft spot that compromises his traditionally sinister persona. The story ends with him revising his daily planner to reflect his new attitude toward the simian smart alecks. Cushman departs from his signature style of watercolor cartoons in favor of a more sophisticated impressionistic technique using vivid acrylics. This bolder, brighter medium and method depict the action and hilarity even more effectively than his past work. The details, of course, make all the difference, such as the inclusion of a clock in each full-bleed spread with the time corresponding to Mr. Croc's original schedule. Pair this with Sierra's Counting Crocodiles (Gulliver, 1997) for even more fun with this reptilian rogue and his pesky primate counterparts, or with Joan M. Lexau and Cushman's Crocodile and Hen (HarperCollins, 2001) for another tale of a crocodile befriending his intended dinner.–Sean George, Memphis-Shelby County Public Library & Information Center, Memphis, TN
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 1. By the light of the moon, Mr. Crocodile pecks away on a typewriter, preparing a list of "Things to Do Tomorrow." Kids may be disappointed to see crocodiles doing the same boring stuff humans do: waking up, eating breakfast, shopping, taking a bath. But the list takes on a decidedly reptilian flavor at four, five, and six o'clock, when it is revealed that Mr. Crocodile intends to catch, cook, and eat "those pesky monkeys" that have been annoying him. Cushman's humorous double-page spreads show the croc gamely trying to follow his agenda despite the quintet of mischievous monkeys, who start each hour by teasingly chanting, "What TIME is it, Mr. Crocodile?" Sierra's bouncy rhyming text will make this a fun read-aloud, and the clocks that appear prominently in every spread can be used to introduce or reinforce the concepts of time and following a schedule. Lauren Peterson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545004926
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152058500
  • ASIN: 0152058508
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 8.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,673 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Judy Sierra's picture book texts have won the E.B. White Read-Aloud Award, Parents' Choice awards, Children's Choice awards, Readers' Choice awards from many of the 50 states, and have been named Notable Books by the American Library Association.

Visit her website: http://www.judysierra.net

Judy's newest picture book is E-I-E-I-O: How Old MacDonald Got His Farm (With a Little Help from a Hen). "Kids have been singing about Old Mac for fifty years or more, but until now, no one has explained how he got that farm of his. After a bit of sleuthing, combined with spoofing, I discovered that this agricultural legend owes a lot to a famous chicken, the Little Red Hen, who helped him turn an annoying lawn into a productive organic farm, complete with farmstand."

Judy Sierra has been writing for children for 25 years. She lives with her husband in Portland, Oregon.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on July 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Crocodile has carefully planned out his day. He even wrote out a schedule, but everything goes awry when the mischievous monkeys arrive. Everywhere he goes, the monkeys follow, and all Mr. Crocodile wants is to rid himself of the annoying creatures. That is, until he has a change of heart, decides to make friends and enjoy all their antics.

What Time is it, Mr. Crocodile? is the perfect volume to introduce young children to the concept of time. Each spread begins with the line "What Time is it, Mr. Crocodile?" (a line children will quickly begin shouting for you), and the artwork features a large, clear image of the clock with the time corresponding to Mr. Crocodile's schedule.

Children will delight in the impish monkeys and the trouble they find, while adults will enjoy the pacing on the answers and will quickly adopt a sing-songy tone:

"Time to capture my meal as I sit at the wheel

of my marvelous monkey-collecting mobile."

Doug Cushman has hidden treats for adults in his illustrations; a copy of "Newton and the Law of Gravity" being dropped on the crocodile's head, and images which conjure memories of the rhyme "Five little monkeys bouncing on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head."

The most delightful aspect of What Time is it, Mr. Crocodile is Cushman's illustrations. His vivid images bring the impish monkeys and grumpy crocodile to life and their vitality almost leaps off the page.

Armchair Interviews says: Don't be surprised if your little ones respond by wiggling and bouncing along with the monkeys.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mami on February 28, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Just borrowed it from the library - had to read it five times already! Our 4-year-old loves it and has most of it memorized already. It's an awesome book, we highly recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By La Donna Tuinstra on December 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I don't buy many books because we use our public library CONSTANTLY, but every once in awhile I simply MUST add a book to our collection. This is one of those books.

There is a rhythm and flow to the words that my 4 year old loves. He is already reading, and as he reads the story to me I hear the echo of my inflections and pace. The "back and forth" between the monkeys and Mr. Crocodile is delightful and intriguing.

The attention to detail in the art is wonderful - the book about gravity falling on the crocodile's head, the "sand crocodile," etc. Even my husband, who hates kids' books, didn't mind this one because he was busy looking at the details of the pages with the kids.

I initially picked this book up at the library because my son loves clocks. He was not disappointed in this book - a clock on every page! And, again, the details were great - we got to talk about different kinds of clocks, including sundials, and different styles of lettering, including Roman numerals.

My 2 year old also loves this book. Mostly because she IS a monkey . . . and I think the cute critters in this book give her ideas.

We are putting this book on our shelves to come back to again and again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Atlanta Mom on October 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book is so much fun. My 3 year old, as well as 16 month old love to read this before bed every night. Highly recommended!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennie on November 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My granddaughter loves this book. When I read it to her over skype (she lives in London) I use a crocodile hand puppet to enhance the experience.
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Format: Paperback
This story the main character is a Crocodile that likes to have things just the way he plans it, he even has a schedule for his day. Which includes catching the monkeys, cooking the monkeys and eating the monkeys. But as he starts his day the five little monkeys come and 'help' him do his breakfast, his grocery shopping 'where'd all these bananas come from?' and other daily things throughout the day the monkeys ask "What time is it Mr Crocodile?" at the end of the day Mr Crocodile decides that instead of eating the monkeys that he very much enjoys having them around and tucks them into bed (without any jumping on the bed this time) to start his 'tomorrow' with having fun and playing with the monkeys.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Sack VINE VOICE on March 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Before bed Mr. Crocodile makes his to do list. The list includes things like swim, visit the library, and go to town. The list also includes catch those monkeys, cook those monkeys, and EAT those monkeys! All day long the monkeys tease Mr. Crocodile, not knowing that he has had enough and plans to eat them! Will they be clever enough to escape Mr. Crocodile?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter has a fascination with clocks, so I ordered this book. She loves it. It is a cute book and fun artwork would be neat if they added more types of clock (digitals too).
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