The Crocodolly by Martin McKenna
Published by Scholastic Australia
This quirky book is a delight - surprising, hilarious and brilliantly executed from the front cover to the very back. British author/illustrator McKenna has perfectly matched flamboyant illustrations to the understated text and absurd story to delight young and old.
Ozzy the crocodile is cracked out of an egg as Adelaide makes a cake. Adelaide is not allowed to have pets, so she disguises him as a dolly – but how long can that ruse last? And what will happen to Ozzy?
The visual characterisation of Adelaide and her adoring crocodile is divine. I love that Adelaide is a red-headed can-do muck -around –making- girl in work boots who leaves a trail of mishaps behind - just like good natured Ozzy. The zany full paged illustrations showing the mayhem that ensues are rich with visual jokes to delight children and adults alike. The colour combination of swampy green and pretty pink highlights the incongruousness of the story – it is so visually outrageous!
The Crocodolly has so many layers of story and levels of interest to delight a large spectrum of readers (say, 3 to 10 years as a guide) and have them coming back for more and more. In fact there is something new to discover on repeat readings. This is a book that keeps rewarding the reader. Younger children will love the repetitive ‘stomp, squash, roll, crunch’ words and the speech bubble asides. From a thesaurus of ‘complain’ words, to problem solving, planning and physics principles, this book has it all!
It is a joy and pleasure to come across a book that is fresh and funny and has so much to offer. It kept me hooked right to the perfect end!
CKT Book Reviewer
Author/Illustrator: Martin McKenna
Title: The Crocodolly
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Published: September 2015