Solomon Crocodile

Solomon Crocodile

5.0 1
by Catherine Rayner
     
 

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In his swampy home, Solomon is looking for fun but nobody wants to play. The dragonflies tell him to buzz off, the storks get in a flap, and the hippo is downright huffy. But then somebody else starts making a ruckus . . . and for once it is NOT Solomon. Could it be the perfect pal for a lonely croc? Matching vibrant art with rollicking words, Scottish artist

Overview

In his swampy home, Solomon is looking for fun but nobody wants to play. The dragonflies tell him to buzz off, the storks get in a flap, and the hippo is downright huffy. But then somebody else starts making a ruckus . . . and for once it is NOT Solomon. Could it be the perfect pal for a lonely croc? Matching vibrant art with rollicking words, Scottish artist Catherine Rayner has created a funny, reassuring story about a rambunctious youngster who chases off the friends he's trying to make.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Short, sweet, and tailor-made for story time, this perfectly paced tale of jungle mischief introduces a toddlerlike crocodile, Solomon, whose definition of “fun” is what other animals would probably label “annoying.” In quick succession, Solomon “splats and slops through the mud to make the frogs jump,” then “shakes the bulrushes and bugs the dragonflies,” and “decides to stalk the storks. They get in such a flap!” Each time, the animals send him away (“Go away, Solomon. You’re nothing but a nuisance”), especially the “biggest hippo in the river,” who proves no easy target. “Go away! You’re nothing but trouble!” the hippo roars, as Solomon instantly goes from gleeful to terrified. Luckily for Solomon, he’s not one of a kind, and his discovery of a like-minded crocodile signals the arrival of a friend—and “double trouble” for the animal kingdom. Greenaway Medalist Rayner (Harris Finds His Feet) offers a playful hero with expressive eyes, a sly smile and paint-spattered skin. Parents with willful and rambunctious kids may groan, but the book has the makings of a readaloud hit. Ages 2–6. (Dec.)
From the Publisher

“Read-alouds with this book are going to be loud, so get ready.” —Booklist

“Short, sweet, and tailor-made for story time, this perfectly paced tale of jungle mischief introduces a toddlerlike crocodile, Solomon, whose definition of "fun" is what other animals would probably label '"annoying.'” —Publishers Weekly, Starred

“The juxtaposition of a roaring hippo with an extremely startled Solomon is priceless.” —School Library Journal

“Let Solomon Crocodile loose during a story hour and get ready to roar.” —Horn Book Magazine

“Light and entertaining fun.” —Kirkus Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Everything is peaceful on the river until, "...here comes trouble!" Solomon Crocodile makes the frogs jump, shakes the bulrushes to bug the dragonflies, and stalks the storks until they all tell him to go away. When he finally charges the biggest hippo for fun, he is sent away again. Solomon is sad and alone, until he hears somebody else stirring up the frogs, dragonflies, and storks. It turns out to be another crocodile, "DOUBLE TROUBLE!" And more fun for Solomon, who will be alone no longer. Solomon dominates each double page, a black outlined, happy-go-lucky fellow with a large set of stereotypical pointed teeth and bulging eye. He is colored assorted shades of green covered with spatters of multicolored dots of many sizes, which give him a less than dangerous appearance, along with his smile. Shiny gold dots enhance his cover appeal. Backgrounds are river plants which, along with the frogs and other creatures make attractive settings for Solomon's jolly adventures. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-K—In this charming story, a bored crocodile wants to play. Sadly, his attempts to rustle up some fun are met with increasing annoyance from his fellow river inhabitants. Frogs call him a nuisance; dragonflies, a pest; storks, a pain; and the hippos bellow that he's "nothing but trouble!" Solomon slinks away until he hears somebody else creating chaos. With a "Snap!" he encounters another crocodile. The last spread shows the happy "Double Trouble" team jumping out in unison, while the rest of the animals flee. The theme of a lonely creature seeking a friend is hardly a novel one, but Rayner imbues it with new life through her delightfully energetic illustrations and perfect interplay of text and image. Variations in font size emphasize actions and sounds-verbs such as "stalk," "shakes," and "bugs" are increased slightly as compared to the rest of the text, and the final "SNAP!" and "DOUBLE TROUBLE!" are extra large. Animals display a great range of expressions, from sleepy storks, to grumpy hippos, to very sly crocodiles. The juxtaposition of a roaring hippo with an extremely startled Solomon is priceless. Sedately pastel backgrounds allow the speckled crocodile to pop, creating a contrast with the sleepiness of the river setting. Sharp zigzags of the crocodiles' teeth and back are reminiscent of the creature from Roald Dahl's The Enormous Crocodile (Knopf, 1978), but are full of mischief instead of malice. The brevity of this story lends itself to a young audience, but would not preclude older kids enjoying it as well.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, Chappaqua Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
Solomon Crocodile annoys and irritates the other creatures in the swamp. Solomon loves making frogs jump, bugging the dragonflies and stalking the storks. But his idea of fun doesn't win him any friends. None of them seem enjoy his games, and they tell him to stop being a nuisance, a pain, a pest and to just go way. The hippo is most emphatic in his denunciation of Solomon as "nothing but trouble," and he slinks away to sulk because no one will play with him. When he hears a disturbance among the animals, he is frightened until he sees another crocodile, and they quickly join forces to become double trouble. Rayner employs descriptive and playful language to describe Solomon's antics. Repetition of the phrase, "go away, Solomon, you're nothing but….," adds structure to the slight plot. Solomon's toothy grin is ever present as he slithers through the swamp playing his tricks, and he appears appropriately chastised, sad or scared as the events warrant. Although Solomon is depicted as an exaggerated cartoon, the other creatures are drawn quite accurately. Unframed, large-scale illustrations fill double-page spreads with color and movement. Solomon never really learns how to make friends, but a bit of discussion during a cuddly read-aloud could clarify the point. Light and entertaining fun. (Picture book. 2-6)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780374380649
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication date:
12/20/2011
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
883,834
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 10.80(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
2 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Catherine Rayner lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is the creator of Harris Finds His Feet, winner of the 2009 Kate Greenaway Medal in the U.K.

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Solomon Crocodile 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Alliesopinions 7 months ago
This is a sweet story about finding a like-minded friend. In a lot of ways this story reminded me of my son. As I was reading it to him for the first time, I couldn't help but wonder if my son sympathized with Solomon. After having the book for several days I can safely say he does. My son is a very energetic almost three year old and, like Solomon, is always getting into trouble. Not trouble per say, more like he is looking to have fun and make friends. You wouldn't think that would be such a big deal for such a small child but, it is. Solomon has a lot of fun doing things that others don't find very fun at all. Like Solomon, my son often has these same issues. My son's favorite part of the book is the ending. He told me it's because Solomon has a friend. To see my full review for this title & many others, check out AlliesOpinions on Wordpress!