I, Crocodile

( 1 )

Overview

While robbing Egypt's mummies, sphinxes, and palm trees, Napoleon can't resist bringing home a souvenir crocodile as well. All Paris is enchanted with this exotic creature. But for a crocodile with an appetite as big as his ego, being the toast of the town has its downside, too. What's a crocodile who's used to a dinner of flamingo, snake, or mongoose to make of chocolate mousse? Oh, to return to his beloved Nile! But fickle Napoleon has other plans for our hero...

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Overview

While robbing Egypt's mummies, sphinxes, and palm trees, Napoleon can't resist bringing home a souvenir crocodile as well. All Paris is enchanted with this exotic creature. But for a crocodile with an appetite as big as his ego, being the toast of the town has its downside, too. What's a crocodile who's used to a dinner of flamingo, snake, or mongoose to make of chocolate mousse? Oh, to return to his beloved Nile! But fickle Napoleon has other plans for our hero...

Inspired by an obscure nineteenth-century French satire, I, Crocodile is the first book Fred Marcellino has written as well as illustrated.

2000 ALA Notable Children's Book
1999 New York Times Best Illustrated Book

2000-2001 Georgia's Picture Storybook Award & Georgia's Children's Book Award Masterlist

2000 ALA Notable Children's Books

Author Biography: Fred Marcellino's picture books include Puss in Boots, a Caldecott Honor Book; The Steadfast Tin Soldier, an ALA Booklist Children's Editors' Choice; and The Pelican Chorus, one of School Library Journal's Best Books of the Year.

His most recent books, The Story of Little Babaji and Ouch! are both ALA Notable Children's Books.

An Egyptian crocodile, with a big ego and a big appetite, is taken to Paris in 1799 by Napoleon Bonaparte.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This first picture book that Marcellino Puss in Boots has both written and illustrated is a pi ce de r sistance. According to the witty green narrator of this singular tale, Egypt was a paradise until "to be precise August 17, 1799." That day, Napoleon spoils the crocodile's bulrush idyll. Seated on a white steed, the emperor orders his troops, "Mummies! I want mummies!... And a sphinx and an obelisk. Make it a big one." In refined watercolor spreads, Napoleon's soldiers obligingly plunder temples and, as an afterthought, snare the crocodile, too. "What a cruel and abrupt departure from my mudbank," the caged reptile reports from a ship laden with Egyptian booty. The protagonist's irreverent tone serves as a perfect counterbalance for Napoleon's disrespect for Egyptian culture, and the varied use of vignettes, thought balloons and spreads keeps the pacing brisk. In one series of vignettes, Marcellino chronicles the lengthy journey and the creature's near starvation "Was anyone keeping track of all the meals I was missing?" accompanied by its hyperbolic facial expressions. Upon reaching Paris, the crocodile achieves star status in a spread that conveys a capital worthy of its nickname, the City of Lights. Later, having fallen from favor, the croc escapes to the sewer system and, in comical facing pages, surfaces to snag a high-society lunch feathered turban and all. Although its plump pickle-shaped body, chubby legs and devastatingly polite manner don't seem threatening, this is one stolen artifact that literally bites back. All ages. Oct. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature - Ru Story-Huffman
Based on a nineteenth-century satire by an unknown author, I, Crocodile is a story told from the viewpoint of a crocodile that was taken from the Nile and transported to Paris by Napoleon Bonaparte. While in Egypt, the crocodile was the king of the Nile and, upon arriving in France, he becomes the toast of society. The only problem was that the crocodile was unable to get a decent dinner in France. Soon, Mr. Crocodile becomes old news, and one day Napoleon begins to think of dinner--his own! And he thinks of the main dish--Crocodile Pie with Egyptian Onions! This book features comical illustrations that are large and colorful. Older children will enjoy the story while gaining a sense of appreciation for the absurd.
Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Marcellino's first foray into writing is for seasoned picture-book readers. Children will be intrigued by the cover art-an enormous crocodile sitting on Empire-style furniture at a garden party, hungrily eyeing the guests, his menu upside down. In fact, the watercolors throughout are delightful: the oversized Egyptian reptile picturing his aristocratic ancestors carved in stone, godlike or performing the Crocodile Walk bedecked in pleated skirt and breastplate after being captured by Napoleon and installed as a fountain decoration in Paris. The pages are designed to present this crocodile of enormous ego almost as a screen star, right down to the playful iris shots in which he dreams of food. He escapes the cook's cleaver by diving into the sewer but has a problem securing food, until an upper-crust dilettante, seen in one scene and only a hat in the next, temporarily solves his dining dilemma. The jacket notes that the story was inspired by "a nineteenth-century satire by an unknown French author." This adaptation of French colonialism run amok is conveyed through a witty monologue that combines highbrow and colloquial elements. The story, however, is not as strong as the art; the singlemindedness of this animal with an attitude starts to wear thin. While sophisticated kids will find much to enjoy, general program audiences may prefer such reptilian hits such as Tomie dePaola's Bill and Pete Go Down the Nile Putnam, 1987, Gail Jorgensen's Crocodile Beat Aladdin, 1994, or Baba Diakite's The Hunterman and the Crocodile Scholastic, l997.-Wendy Lukehart, Dauphin County Library, Harrisburg, PA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060088590
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 602,489
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.25 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.11 (d)

Meet the Author

Fred Marcellino's picture books include Puss in Boots, a Caldecott Honor Book; The Steadfast Tin Soldier, an ALA Booklist Children's Editors' Choice; and The Pelican Chorus, one of School Library Journal's Best Books of the Year.

His most recent books, The Story of Little Babaji and Ouch! are both ALA Notable Children's Books.

Dancing By the Light of the Moon: The Art of Fred Marcellino will open on November 9, 2002 and run through January 26, 2003 at The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. This is a comprehensive show of more than 150 pieces highlighting his children's book career, and the first museum retrospective honoring the artistic accomplishments of this remarkable artist. For more information visit, The Norman Rockwell Museum website.

Fred Marcellino's picture books include Puss in Boots, a Caldecott Honor Book; The Steadfast Tin Soldier, an ALA Booklist Children's Editors' Choice; and The Pelican Chorus, one of School Library Journal's Best Books of the Year.

His most recent books, The Story of Little Babaji and Ouch! are both ALA Notable Children's Books.

Dancing By the Light of the Moon: The Art of Fred Marcellino will open on November 9, 2002 and run through January 26, 2003 at The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. This is a comprehensive show of more than 150 pieces highlighting his children's book career, and the first museum retrospective honoring the artistic accomplishments of this remarkable artist. For more information visit, The Norman Rockwell Museum website.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 1999

    A great book for kids, that parents will enjoy reading again and again!

    Finally a book that a parent can read to their child, and enjoy themselves. It's funny irreverent, and beautifully illustrated.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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