My Baby Crocodile by Gaetan Doremus. PICTURE BOOK. Enchanted Lion Books, 2016. $19. 9781592701926
BUYING ADVISORY: EL, MS, HS - OPTIONAL.
AUDIENCE APPEAL: LOW
A crocodile finds a knight alone in the swamp and mistakes him for a baby crocodile, given that the shape of his helmet looks like a crocodile. Crocodile takes care of him and falls in love with him as his baby. Then, on a swimming expedition, the crocodile realizes that his baby is really a human and the point of view of the book switches to the knight. The knight realizes that the crocodile isn’t going to eat him, but begins to think about killing the crocodile and being a hero back home. The point of view then shifts back and forth as each of them considers killing the other and then dismissing that thought. In the end, they part in peace.
This book is quirky. I think there are a lot of layers that could be peeled back in this interesting tale. I see its potential mostly in a high school unit on war and diplomatic differences. This book does seem to require discussion around reading it, talking about what could be gleaned from a story such as this. The illustrations are pen sketches in different colors and the text is hand written.
Jen Wecker, HS English Teacher