I, Crocodile

Book review by
Peter Lewis, Common Sense Media
I, Crocodile Book Poster Image
Kids love funny crocodile and outrageous citizens.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Violence & Scariness

The crocodile eats a woman.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that the flamboyant art is superb at communicating the epic narrative. The crocodile is treated pretty poorly by Napoleon.

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What's the story?

Napoleon whisks the pompous crocodile from his Nile mudbank and deposits him in a Paris fountain. The crocodile becomes the toast of the Tuileries until his fame gives way to the next latest fashion. About to be transformed into crocodile pie, he skedaddles and takes his reptile's revenge. Fred Marcellino's witty, detailed illustrations suit his charming text.


Is it any good?

Caldecott Honor illustrator Fred Marcellino's first foray into writing picture books is a satisfying success. The story is a poke in the eye of pomposity and the winds of fashion. The text sounds as though it might be spoken in a theater, with all its staged dignity and conflicting emotions.

The illustrations sprawl luxuriously across the page, or dangle two or three to the page. For all the silliness of their subject matter, they feel grand, like stills from an epic movie. They impart all the emotions of the story, suspect and otherwise, as well as easily transporting readers from the Nile River to 19th century Paris.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Napoleon's greed. Why does he want the crocodile? How does he treat him? Parents can initiate a discussion about greed and treating what you have with respect and consideration.

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