Promising more than it delivers, this tale about a terrorist-in-training starts off well but goes downhill fast. No one likes Flora, who wears a crocodile mask made from a shoebox and, like her reptilian namesake, bites. A boy at her school tells the story, describing how Flora one day bites off the arm of the class's stuffed monkey: ``She makes Monkey SCREAM!'' This otherwise unattributed scream accomplishes what the opprobrium of her classmates and her understanding teacher cannot-it reforms Flora. A drab palette dampens these illustrations; ironically, the most attractive element is the despised crocodile mask. Parents of both biters and the bitten may snap this title up, as biting scores high on the Richter scale of parental anxiety. But chances are they'll be disappointed-Shipton deals out little more than a quick epiphany to an undeveloped character, giving readers few insights to sink their teeth into. Ages 3-6. (Sept.)
- Samita Arora
This book is perfect for teachers who are having difficulty with "biters" in their classroom. The story is about a girl, Flora, who bites children in her class. She is portrayed as Flora the Crocodile with a mask over her face. Flora goes around school biting children until one day a monkey screams so loud he scares her and hurts his arm in the process. After that Flora decides she does not want to be a crocodile and wants to stop biting her friends and helps nurture the monkey back to health. This book has nice, simple pictures and is easy to read.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1All of the children are scared of the class bully, Flora, who pretends to be a mean, green crocodile and snaps at everyone. One day she goes too far and bites the class's favorite toy, Monkey. The little girl cries more than "crocodile tears" over that incident, and decides she doesn't want to be a mean reptile any longer. She discards her paper mask, and the other children make her feel a part of the group. Shipton presents the issues of bullying and biting in a clearly defined and humorous manner that is easy for youngsters to understand. Munoz's illustrations are a unique blend of bright and muted colors and help to explain the story in further detail. The pictures and bold text can be easily seen on an individual basis or small-group situation.Kathy Mitchell, Gadsden Co. Public Library, Quincy, FL