A Crocodile in the Family
Illustrator: Daron Parton
Publisher: Lothian Books
This is a gentle picture book which emphasises the importance of family, a sense of belonging and the acceptance of difference.
A family of birds discovers an egg in the scrub, takes it home, props it up on a comfortable tasselled cushion and settles down to watch television. “Tiny darts of lightning crackled all over the egg” and out popped the “brightest green crocodile you ever did see”. The birds are delighted and happily introduce their new family member to all the other animals, who at first are rather worried and confused by how different he is and wonder why they keep him. Gradually the animals discover that Croccy makes a great coat rack, is a master at hide and seek and has a taste for pink donuts with sprinkles.
The quirky, colourful illustrations by Daron Parton add great charm, humour and an Australian flavour to the story, exuberantly showing that Croccy has some unusual talents and can solve some tricky problems. Do the family keep him because he is so helpful, graceful and fun or is there another reason? You’ll need to read the book to find out, but young children especially will have no problem accepting the simple answer and they will enjoy this lovely story which is perfect for bedtime.