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I, Crocodile Hardcover – Picture Book, September 8, 1999

4.7 out of 5 stars 25 ratings

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Editorial Reviews Review

Ah, the contented life of a Nile crocodile, direct descendant of the ancient Pharaoh-worshiped Egyptian crocs. Delectable fish for dinner, exquisite pink flamingo for dessert. Life is good... until Napoleon shows up, that is. This greedy emperor wants one of everything in sight--mummies, obelisks, and yes, a crocodile for a Parisian fountain display. The nerve. But, well, life isn't all bad in Paris. Soon our hero is the "Toast of the Tuileries! The Darling of the Empire!" Life is good again... until that fickle emperor gets a hankering for Crocodile pie with Egyptian onions. It's time for this rascally reptile to make a quick getaway.

Inspired by an obscure 19th-century French satire, I, Crocodile is Fred Marcellino's first hilarious effort at both writing and illustrating a picture book. His previous illustrations for children's books, including Puss in Boots, have garnered numerous awards, among them the Caldecott Honor and an ALA Notable Children's Book award. Marcellino's witty pictures and text, portraying Napoleon as a prima donna potentate and the crocodile as a not-so-innocent victim, have a sly sense of humor that will keep historians and young readers rolling in the aisles. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

This first picture book that Marcellino (Puss in Boots) has both written and illustrated is a pi?ce de r?sistance. According to the witty green narrator of this singular tale, Egypt was a paradise until "(to be precise) August 17, 1799." That day, Napoleon spoils the crocodile's bulrush idyll. Seated on a white steed, the emperor orders his troops, "Mummies! I want mummies!... And a sphinx and an obelisk. Make it a big one." In refined watercolor spreads, Napoleon's soldiers obligingly plunder temples and, as an afterthought, snare the crocodile, too. "What a cruel and abrupt departure from my mudbank," the caged reptile reports from a ship laden with Egyptian booty. The protagonist's irreverent tone serves as a perfect counterbalance for Napoleon's disrespect for Egyptian culture, and the varied use of vignettes, thought balloons and spreads keeps the pacing brisk. In one series of vignettes, Marcellino chronicles the lengthy journey and the creature's near starvation ("Was anyone keeping track of all the meals I was missing?") accompanied by its hyperbolic facial expressions. Upon reaching Paris, the crocodile achieves star status in a spread that conveys a capital worthy of its nickname, the City of Lights. Later, having fallen from favor, the croc escapes to the sewer system and, in comical facing pages, surfaces to snag a high-society lunch (feathered turban and all). Although its plump pickle-shaped body, chubby legs and devastatingly polite manner don't seem threatening, this is one stolen artifact that literally bites back. All ages. (Oct.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product details

  • Grade Level : Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure : AD490L
  • Item Weight : 1.02 pounds
  • Hardcover : 40 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0062051687
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0062051684
  • Product Dimensions : 11.25 x 0.35 x 10 inches
  • Publisher : HarperCollins; 1st Edition (September 8, 1999)
  • Reading level : 4 - 8 years
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 25 ratings

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