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What Time Is It, Mr. Crocodile?


Mr. Crocodile has big plans for finally catching—and eating—five pesky monkeys, but those little rascals dupe him again and again. By the time the clock strikes six, those mischievous monkeys actually teach Mr. Crocodile a thing or two about friendship . . . and about having fun!

Mr. Crocodile's plans to catch and eat some pesky monkeys do not work out and he becomes friends with them instead.

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Mr. Crocodile has big plans for finally catching—and eating—five pesky monkeys, but those little rascals dupe him again and again. By the time the clock strikes six, those mischievous monkeys actually teach Mr. Crocodile a thing or two about friendship . . . and about having fun!

Mr. Crocodile's plans to catch and eat some pesky monkeys do not work out and he becomes friends with them instead.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Cushman . . . captures the monkeys' energy . . . to make any time the right time for this irresistible rhyme."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Children's Literature
Mr. Crocodile is a planner. Every evening he plans his next day: "visit the library, bath and snack, catch those pesky monkeys, cook. . . and eat those pesky monkeys, read a story." However, Mr. Crocodile finds that his careful planning does not always follow his best intentions. Although his day started off well—a breakfast of "a barnacle bagel and sea-slug souffle," "a quick look for a recipe book. HURRY UP! HURRY UP! I've got monkeys to cook"—the monkeys Mr. Crocodile had decided to catch end up helping him out and being interested in much the same activities he is. By the end of the book, Mr. Crocodile revises his daily schedule to include those "nice" monkeys, even going so far as to buy them bananas at the grocery store and share a book with them. The recurrent "What time is it, Mr. Crocodile?" on the left side of the page and the rhyming answer on the right are enhanced on every page by the humorous illustrations. This is a fun book to read to kids or to have read to parents by their child. 2004, Gulliver Books, Ages 3 to 8.
—Jean Boreen, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Two picture-book talents join forces for some memorable monkey business in this entertaining tale. In the introductory spread, Mr. Crocodile lays out his intended schedule for the next day, but his best-laid plans go awry when the monkeys arrive. Sierra again demonstrates her considerable storytelling skill with a series of deftly rhymed answers to the repeated title question: "Time to take a quick look/for a recipe book./HURRY UP! HURRY UP!/I've got monkeys to cook." Although the story is vaguely reminiscent of several folktales involving cross crocodiles and mischievous monkeys, Mr. Crocodile ultimately shows a soft spot that compromises his traditionally sinister persona. The story ends with him revising his daily planner to reflect his new attitude toward the simian smart alecks. Cushman departs from his signature style of watercolor cartoons in favor of a more sophisticated impressionistic technique using vivid acrylics. This bolder, brighter medium and method depict the action and hilarity even more effectively than his past work. The details, of course, make all the difference, such as the inclusion of a clock in each full-bleed spread with the time corresponding to Mr. Croc's original schedule. Pair this with Sierra's Counting Crocodiles (Gulliver, 1997) for even more fun with this reptilian rogue and his pesky primate counterparts, or with Joan M. Lexau and Cushman's Crocodile and Hen (HarperCollins, 2001) for another tale of a crocodile befriending his intended dinner.-Sean George, Memphis-Shelby County Public Library & Information Center, Memphis, TN Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152058500
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 282,407
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD940L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 10.80 (h) x 0.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy Sierra holds a Ph.D. in folklore from UCLA. She is the author of many esteemed children's books, including Nursery Tales Around the World, winner of the Aesop Prize from the American Folklore Society, and Good Night, Dinosaurs. She is also the reteller/compiler of several books of folklore for teachers and storytellers. Ms. Sierra lives in Northern California.

Doug Cushman is a veteran mystery writer for children and the illustrator of more than 100 picture books. Among his many popular books are the seven HOLIDAY MICE books, written by Bethany Roberts. He lives in Northern California and Paris.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2004

    Judy Sierra is so good

    Judy Sierra has written another impressive tale, which you will definitely want to add to your collection. In this story told in rhyme, Mr. Crocodile plans his day hour by hour. He wants to 'catch those pesky monkeys' and then cook them and eat them. This story is ideal for audience participation. Children will relish joining in with the question, 'What time is it, Mr. Crocodile?' There is a clock face on every double page spread so youngsters can savor the countdown, as well as, re-enforce telling time for those just learning the skill.There is an unexpected surprise ending, which will satisfy listeners. Cushman's bright, acrylic illustrations compliment the text making this a visual treat providing much to keep an audience entranced. There are many opportunities for literary enrichment by pairing the book with Christelow's Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, which is alluded to both graphically and textually. This is a recommended purchase for both elementary school libraries and public libraries.

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    Posted February 26, 2010

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    Posted August 26, 2009

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