The Crocodile Who Came For Dinner
Steve Smallman and Joëlle Dreidemy
Best friends, Hotpot (lamb) and Wolf are out doing a stint of ‘wolfy things’ one night when they come upon a huge egg. Wolf’s first thought is making an omelette, quickly countered by Hotpot’s “No … baby bird.”
Having ascertained from the nest dwellers close by that the egg doesn’t belong to any of them, the friends decide to take it home.
Before you can say, ‘yummy omelette’ the egg cracks and what should pop out but a baby crocodile. There’s only one thing the friends can call it and after discovering that the little creature is omnivorous,
they head off for some shut eye. Guess who makes a bid for Wolf’s bed. Eventually both Wolf and Omelette spend the night snuggled up together on a chair but somehow Omelette makes it to the kitchen first next morning – with chaotic results.
Just as Hotpot and Wolf are preparing to take the newcomer out for a walk, some wolf friends arrive at the door and receive some unexpected affection of the crocish kind. Their game of chase through the woods leads them down the river where Omelette alarms the boating bunnies by diving in for a swim.
Curmudgeonly Badger takes delight in pointing out that while Omelette might be harmless right now, he will grow and grow. Sure enough he does but remains totally lovable to all but Badger.
One night a terrible storm blows up and the forest is flooded. Worse though, Omelette has gone missing but he’s left a trail of footprints that lead to where we see, some baby ducklings are in great danger.
Can they be saved? And if so, by whom? …
Steve’s text is a superb read aloud: I’m sure both listeners and adult readers aloud will find it hilarious. Equally droll are Joelle Dreidemy’s illustrations which contain a wealth of detail and a liberal scattering of speech bubbles in this tale where appearances can be deceptive .