Crocodile Smile: 10 Songs of the Earth as the Animals See It

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
Humorous presentation of a serious environmental issue through ten songs and a 48 page picture book. Each song is from a different endangered animal's point of view, such as the tufted-eared marmoset, giant panda and Galapagos tortoise, performed by Weeks who will be quickly recognized from her Sesame Street appearances. Ehlert collage art has won her Caldecott Honors.
Children's Literature - Susie Wilde
In the soon-to-be classic category comes a tape-book combination called Crocodile Smile. Beautiful full-page illustrations by award-winning artist Ehlert accompany ten songs of the "earth as the animals see it" that are written and sung by Weeks.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 4-This unique picture-book and tape set provides a fresh look at the Earth from the perspective of some of its most important inhabitants, endangered animals. The lyrics for each of the 10 songs are printed in the book along with a portrait of the featured animal, creating a gallery effect. With a tone more heartfelt than preachy, the songs celebrate our planet while offering a gentle environmental message. The language is simple, poetic, and rhythmic. The first song describes the jungle as ``Home to cheetah/Home to bat/Home to human wearing hat/Monkey and machete swing high/Under same blue sky.'' In ``Pretty Tree,'' a guileless giant panda wonders at the funny sound ``chop! chop!'' that shakes the ground beneath his bamboo tree. Some of the selections are a little lighter in tone. In ``I've Never Eaten a Princess,'' a Komodo dragon complains about the negative image perpetuated by fairy tales, and a great egret declares with great dignity, ``I am not a hat.'' Weeks's crystal-clear voice is pleasant to listen to and the catchy tunes have a nice variety of tempos and styles. While younger listeners will find the music appealing, the lyrics are sophisticated enough to interest older children. Ehlert's brightly colored-collage illustrations are breathtaking. Presented against a clean background of brilliant orange and deep green, the simply constructed images capture the essence of each animal. A Galapagos tortoise lumbers slowly across the page on huge, knobbed, green legs, and a green-eyed tiger shows off his stunning coat of stripes. Although the songs could be read aloud, this invitingly innovative look and listen at planet Earth works best as a package.-Joy Fleishhacker, New York Public Library
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060228675
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Pages: 48
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 12.38 (w) x 11.58 (h) x 0.83 (d)

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