Laura Casella, The Croc Who Rocked, Starfish Bay, February 2019, 36 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781760360528
My boys just summed up what I want to say about this book.
Mr 5: “It’s a friendship book. And a feelings book.”
Mr 3: “It’s funny.”
The Croc Who Rocked is a colourful slice of fun. The illustrations are bright and full of feeling and movement. Croc loves to sing and to snap his jaw loudly, but his snappy song disturbs the quiet jungle. Croc doesn’t understand why the other animals don’t like his song, and feels sad and lonely. With the help of some birds he changes his tune to a tweet-tweet song to try to fit in, but then he gets carried away and starts snapping again which scares the other animals away. Finally Croc finds some friends who appreciate his song and they sing it loudly together.
This concept is not new. There are other (perhaps better) jungle animal dancing allegories out there, but this book is fun to read aloud because it is full of sounds (Tweet Baby Tweet Snap Snap Doo Wop Pow Tweet Snap). It’s simple, cute and playful. There are deeper themes to explore if you wish — the question of whether you should change yourself to fit in or find new friends instead — but I would be more inclined to just follow it up with some singing and dancing.
Reviewed by Liz Patterson