From Publishers Weekly
Brown makes her debut with a variation of Are You My Mother?, but her newly hatched crocodile protagonist finds the world to be a considerably more benevolent place than did P.D. Eastman's baby bird. In fact, the penultimate animal he encounters, a zebra, offers not only words of comfort but also a piggyback ride to the river, where the crocodile reunites with his mother: "Where have you been?" she asks, "Oh, just making friends," replies her son. The slackness of the narrative places the burden of the storytelling on Brown's visuals; fortunately, she is up to the challenge. Her chunky, naf-styled animals look like they've been assembled from a toy-box of geometric shapes, and they invite the reader into the pages with their free-wheeling body language: a blue monkey hangs from tendril-like limbs, a plump tiger lolls in the sun. And even though Brown's crocodile is, by comparison, an essentially static, reactive figure, she gets plenty of comic mileage out of his bright, open eyes and his striking resemblance to a serrated slice of honeydew melon. Ages 3-7.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
PreSchool-K-"Are you my mommy?" a newly hatched crocodile naively asks a monkey, then an elephant, a tiger, and, finally, a zebra. In turn, each animal clearly illustrates the impossibility by example. The tiger asks, "Well, can you roll around in the grass like me?" And though Little Crocodile tries, he just keeps getting stuck upside down. And when encouraged to chatter like the monkey, trumpet like the elephant, or bray like the donkey, Little Crocodile is only able to "snap." Finally discovering his fellow snapping crocodiles and, ultimately, his mother, the young reptile happily joins them. The text of this new variation on the classic theme behind P. D. Eastman's Are You My Mother? (Beginner, 1960) and Keiko Kasza's A Mother for Choco (Putnam, 1992) is less polished, yet Brown's illustrations will draw preschool audiences into the story. The bold and colorful, if slightly flat, animals are appealing and lively as they swing, kick, and cavort across the pages. Children will be further engaged by the repetitive pattern of the language that lends itself to reading aloud. Although not highly original, this title will be a popular addition to heavily used picture-book collections.
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Piper L. Nyman, Fairfield/Suisun Community Library, Fairfield, CA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.