Friday, April 19, 2019

Shelf Awareness--The Quiet Crocodile Goes to the Beach

PB Review: The Quiet Crocodile Goes to the Beach

The Quiet Crocodile Goes to the Beach by Natacha Andriamirado, illus. by Delphine Renon (Princeton Architectural Press, ages 2-6, 9781616898014)

Fossil the Quiet Crocodile loves the beach. While his many friends float, paddle, bob, dive and boogie board, Fossil prefers to "contemplate the waves, look for shells, take a nap, enjoy the moment." Observation might suggest he isn't moving, but he is engaged in active pursuits like "teach[ing] his friends how to swim, how not to splash" and "how to kick." But there's something "gnawing" at Fossil, "bothering him, and stressing him out." Although it seems impossible for a giant, beach-loving crocodile, "Fossil is scared to go in the water." Thank goodness he is surrounded by friends, who encourage him with kindness--and floaties. As the tide creeps up, Fossil finds that he can face his fears and enjoy the ocean after all.

This follow-up to Andriamirado and Renon's first book about Fossil (The Quiet Crocodile) is endowed with even more charm and off-beat humor than the original. The text is straightforward and feels as if it's being delivered with an affectionate smile, and the detailed colored-pencil and pen illustrations manage to depict plenty of activity and an abiding sense of calm at the same time. The gentle, mostly stationary Fossil is joined by a large cast of active, personable animals, such as Fippo the Hippo and Sonny the Bunny, all of whom are introduced in the endpapers, each sporting elaborate beachwear. A note instructs readers to "find, name, and count all of [Fossil's] friends as they play in the water," as well as to look for additional specific "hidden" objects, including rings and racquets, a fishing net, some chewing gum and "the sparrow, aboard a tiny boat." Young readers will surely dive into the fun! --Lynn Becker, blogger and host of Book Talk, a monthly online discussion of children's books for SCBWI.

Discover: Fossil the Quiet Crocodile loves spending time on the beach, but when the tide rolls in, he may to have face his fears and join his friends in the water.

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