You Can’t Cuddle a Crocodile

You Can’t Cuddle a Crocodile
Diana Hendry and Ed Eaves
Hodder Children’s Books

Why would anyone want to, was my immediate response to the title of this book but said crocodile doesn’t actually make an appearance until quite a way into the story – on Friday to be precise – so let’s go back to the start and meet the family on Monday morning.

There’s our narrator, a fresh-faced boy together with his smiling parents who counter the lad’s claim that on this particular day his sister is a monkey, with a question about the nature of monkeys’ choice of breakfast, and go on to fabricate further fanciful monkey-associated notions.

Come Tuesday, said sister has morphed into a bear whose ursine antics cause early morning chaos in the household.

And so it goes on through the week: Wednesday a camel accompanies mum and boy to the beach; Thursday sees a rainy shopping expedition with a flat-footed, flap, flap, flippered sibling slowing down the journey and causing consternation with the shopkeeper.

Friday it’s the turn of a visit from that crocodile – a decidedly uncuddle-able incarnation, particularly at bedtime story time and on Saturday the unsuspecting postie is scared silly when something roars at him and makes a grab for his sack. He isn’t impressed, preferring the human sibling.

On Sunday, Freya makes a welcome return as herself but suddenly Mum notices the absence of our narrator. What could have happened to him? … Seemingly he has the final chuckle in this tall tale.

Diana’s crazy story coupled with Ed’s zany digital scenes of young Freya’s incarnations and their outcomes, is likely to entertain youngsters in an early years setting or at home as well as providing a gentle introduction to, or reminder of, the days of the week sequence.

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