Crocodile Blues

crocodile.jpgThe Crocodile Blues (Candlewick, $16.99) by Coleman Polhemus bears no relation to the book above except that it, too, will woo reluctant readers. Why? Because it has hardly any words and it’s very weird. The story goes something like this: A man in a nightcap carrying a bird on his shoulder goes to a machine dispensing eggs and buys one. He takes it home and puts it in the fridge. In the middle of the night, he and his bird companion awaken to the sound of loud cracking. They creep down to the fridge and what should they find inside, but a fully grown recently hatched crocodile! Let the shenanigans begin. There are chase scenes and escape scenes and dangling over the side of the bed to see what’s hiding underneath scenes. Many of the pictures are in these weird blue silhouettes, but that’s neither here nor there (though visually it’s lovely). Suddenly the world is very yellow, the silhouettes are very black, the man has bought a very small refrigerator and he is sitting on the refrigerator box drinking a cup of tea. A note comes whizzing through the mail slot inviting them to a soiree at “The Blue Crocodile,” where the reptile is the starring attraction. What does the croc do in his command performance? Present the man and the bird with an egg, of course. After you read this book, have a very long conversation with children about their weirdest dreams. They will think you are cool.



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