Let’s All Creep Through Crocodile Creek
As the sun sets an intrepid little Mouse leads his fearful friends homewards.
In order to get there before dark, he decides to take the short cut through the creek. He’s ‘NEVER seen a crocodile in the creepy, crooked creek’, so he tells Shelly and Rabbit.
What follows is a delicious comedy of errors as the three friends set off, traversing a ‘lumpy, bumpy bridge,’ clambering through ‘long, thick “scritchy, scratchy” thorns’
and swinging through green vines. All the while Mouse is providing a description of the animals they’re hoping never to see.
Then Shelly’s comment concerning the similarity between slippy, slidey logs and the bodies of the green reptiles causes them to plunge into a dark tunnel from where they view a host of watchful pairs of eyes upon them.
Hundreds of crocodiles, is Shelly’s conviction.
Mouse continues with his banter until Shelly’s burning question provokes a considerable degree of panic; but the three friends do manage to find dry land safely, albeit still some distance from home.
A forest shortcut is Mouse’s suggestion; but don’t forests contain tigers, wonders Rabbit … and off we go again.
Jonny’s surefooted way of manipulating words and images, orchestrating them into a seamless drama that unfolds across the pages, is what makes this book SO brilliant; that and his attention to detail throughout. From the crocodilian front endpapers to the tiger-striped back ones it offers a superb lesson in how a picture book should be read.