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Children's LiteratureBefore Mom and Dad go out one night, Peggy tells them she cannot go to sleep because of the crocodile hiding under her bed. Of course they say that is rubbish, tuck her in, and leave her grandmother in charge. But a crocodile really is there. His name is Henry, and he proceeds to join her in some fun, in the bath tub, dancing the Crocodile Rock, making and painting an egg-carton crocodile. Henry tells stories of how naughty he was when he was little. This is why he is there; he was punished by being sentenced to help frightened children. He can only return when he has visited a thousand of them; Peggy is only number 776. Before he finishes his story, she is asleep. Was this all her vivid imagination? If so, how did the egg-carton crocodile her dad finds under her bed get there? Beginning with the end-papers, which display dozens of dancing crocodiles in varied acrobatic positions it is clear that we have a humorous bit of a child's happy make-believe. The crayon-textured illustrations offer the artist a chance to de-demonize the reptile, to present him as a fun-loving prankster and kindly playmate. Charming, red-haired Peggy is our guide through the delightful sequence of bed-time adventures. 2005 (orig.1980), Front Street, Ages 3 to 7.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz