Princess Cora and the Crocodile – Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Brian Floca

  Princess Cora and the Crocodile – Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Brian Floca, Candlewick Press, (9780763648220), 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1- 5 (5 is excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre:   Fairy tale

What did you like about the book?  Prince’s Cora is tired of not being able to have any fun.  Her parents want her to be tidy, wise and strong so her days are filled with three daily baths, dull lessons, and timed exercise. Princess Cora writes to her fairy godmother: “Nobody listens to me. My mother and father won’t let me have a pet and Nanny says I don’t even want one.  But I do. And I’m sick and tired of everything. Please help me.”  In the morning the princess finds a box containing not the hoped for dog but a crocodile!  The crocodile tells the princess that he is there to rescue her – he can bite, knock people down with his tail and chew them.  Cora does not want the crocodile to do any of those things, but does agree to have him pretend to be her for the day.  So while Cora heads outside to climb trees, pick strawberries and wade in the creek, the crocodile becomes the princess with a pink frilly dress and a mop wig.  At first her parents and nanny don’t even notice the difference. Hilarity ensues when the crocodile refuses to obey and puts them in their place.  The illustrations in ink, watercolor and gouache in perfect fairy tale colors are full of humor, especially in the scenes with the crocodile pretending to be a princess.  In the end, Princess Cora arrives back home to discover that crocodile has not behaved well and her parents and nanny are so happy to have her back that they finally listen.   A perfect fairytale with exquisite illustrations and hilarious dialogue, “‘…your mother read to me about banks, but I couldn’t stand it. She said I was inappropriate.’ ‘She says that to me, too,’ said Princess Cora, ‘and it’s awful.  you didn’t bite her, did you?’ ‘I did,’ said the crocodile, ‘Twice.’ ‘Twice!’ cried Princess Cora. ‘She has two legs,’ said the crocodile.”  The short chapters will make this a great choice for a reader moving into chapter books.  Sure to be a classic!

Anything you didn’t like about it? No

To whom would you recommend this book?  Recommend this to readers who love fairytales, especially twisted fairy tales with a lot of humor.  Readers transitioning into chapter books will find this a good read aloud.

Who should buy this book?  Public libraries and elementary school libraries

Where would you shelve it?  Chapter Books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this at the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City:  Catherine Coyne, Mansfield Public Library, Mansfield, MA

Date of review:  4/19/17             

This entry was posted in *Starred Review, Book Review and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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