My Baby Crocodile

My Baby Crocodile


Written and illustrated by Gaëtan Dorémus
Translated from French by Sarah Klinger

Told from two different perspectives, My Baby Crocodile is about a chance meeting between a crocodile and what he believes to be a "baby crocodile." This meeting profoundly changes their lives, which then continue along their own individual paths, though the bonds of love and intimacy remain. The story plays with ideas about the relationship between parent and child as well as with those about how how deeply chance and the choices we make affect us throughout our lives.

ISBN: 978-1-59270-192-6
9" (W) x 13" (H) • 56 pages • HCJ

Grade Level: 3
Interest Level: 2-6
Lexile Level: 530
Guided Reading Level: N

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"Klinger's translation is skillful, and the story has the scale and gravity of a novel. Is this love or détente? It's for readers to decide." —Publishers Weekly

“A crocodile is out hunting when he finds a baby crocodile, who resembles him in shape—though if you look closely, it’s a human child wearing knight’s armor. The hair-raising tale of mistaken identity that follows slowly becomes a touching story of opposites meeting across the species divide. In time, boy and beast become not just allies but something like family. Dorémus’s illustrations have a riveting, spiky beauty, with pages covered in fierce pencil strokes and nuclear-sunset colors."—Maria Russo, The New York Times

"A tender episode, if an odd one." —Kirkus Reviews

“Superbly translated from the original French, My Baby Crocodile is a distinctive children’s picturebook about a most unusual family relationship that blurs predator-prey lines. When an aged crocodile stumbles across a human boy in knights armor, he mistakes the boy for a baby crocodile, and hilarity ensues! Can he teach his adopted “crocodile” how to swim (the heavy armor doesn’t help) and how to hunt? Eventually the truth must come out, but humans and crocodiles are mortal enemies in the natural world. Can this unlikely duo truly learn to trust one another? A fondly bittersweet story, alternately told from the perspectives of both characters and brilliantly brought to life with distinctive, crosshatched color artwork, My Baby Crocodile is highly recommended.” —The Midwest Book Review

"Dorémus' scratchy colored-pencil drawings are uproariously funny, depicting the giant rosy croc obliviously trying to care for the knight, whose helmet carries a surprisingly rich range of expressions. The text, moreover, in a scrawly red font, amplifies the humor with its hilarious contrast to the artfully abstract pictures." —Booklist

"OMG this book is incredible! It had us all laughing on the floor. While I drooled over the illustrations and cleverness of it all." —The Reading Ninja

"A spirited tale of love, loss, and the endurance of friendship." —Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, School Library Journal

"Changing perspectives accompany beautiful illustrations in a slightly elongated picture book that will stand out in many ways." —The Easy Reader Shelf

"Stumbling across a ‘baby crocodile’ in the swamp, a farsighted but well-meaning crocodile decides to take care of it. This is no simple task since the ‘baby’ is actually a tiny knight wearing armor. Unable to understand why the baby can’t swim, hunt, and even starts to rust after a while, Crocodile tries ever harder to take care of him. But what happens when Crocodile realizes his mistake? This picture book has a wonderful message of acceptance no matter what you are, or where you’re from. Riddled with mistaken well-meaning, amusing misunderstandings. The Baby Crocodile even addresses the conflict of those who struggle to understand and learn about others they might be confused by. We all may be different, and that’s okay. What matters is what we decide to make of it. Great read-out-loud for pre-school and early elementary families to share."—The Scoop; The Blog For Kids World, Eisenhower Public Library


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