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What Time Is It, Mr. Crocodile?


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About the Author

Judy Sierra holds a Ph.D. in folklore from UCLA. She is the author of many esteemed children's books, including Nursery Tales Around the World, winner of the Aesop Prize from the American Folklore Society, and Good Night, Dinosaurs. She is also the reteller/compiler of several books of folklore for teachers and storytellers. Ms. Sierra lives in Northern California. Doug Cushman is a veteran mystery writer for children and the illustrator of more than 100 picture books. Among his many popular books are the seven HOLIDAY MICE books, written by Bethany Roberts. He lives in Northern California and Paris.


PreS-Gr 3-Two picture-book talents join forces for some memorable monkey business in this entertaining tale. In the introductory spread, Mr. Crocodile lays out his intended schedule for the next day, but his best-laid plans go awry when the monkeys arrive. Sierra again demonstrates her considerable storytelling skill with a series of deftly rhymed answers to the repeated title question: "Time to take a quick look/for a recipe book./HURRY UP! HURRY UP!/I've got monkeys to cook." Although the story is vaguely reminiscent of several folktales involving cross crocodiles and mischievous monkeys, Mr. Crocodile ultimately shows a soft spot that compromises his traditionally sinister persona. The story ends with him revising his daily planner to reflect his new attitude toward the simian smart alecks. Cushman departs from his signature style of watercolor cartoons in favor of a more sophisticated impressionistic technique using vivid acrylics. This bolder, brighter medium and method depict the action and hilarity even more effectively than his past work. The details, of course, make all the difference, such as the inclusion of a clock in each full-bleed spread with the time corresponding to Mr. Croc's original schedule. Pair this with Sierra's Counting Crocodiles (Gulliver, 1997) for even more fun with this reptilian rogue and his pesky primate counterparts, or with Joan M. Lexau and Cushman's Crocodile and Hen (HarperCollins, 2001) for another tale of a crocodile befriending his intended dinner.-Sean George, Memphis-Shelby County Public Library & Information Center, Memphis, TN Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Cushman . . . captures the monkeys' energy . . . to make any time the right time for this irresistible rhyme."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

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