by Maxwell Eaton (Author) Maxwell Eaton (Illustrator)
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Get to know the crocodilian family—crocodiles, alligators and caimans, and gharials—at an eventful birthday party.
Eaton (The Truth About Elephants, 2018, etc.) continues his series of tongue-in-cheek introductions to iconic animal species with facts and fancies about these toothy reptiles. Cartoon illustrations feature talking animals (mainly white-coated scientist turtles) and the brown-skinned human birthday girl. Text is presented in speech bubbles, callout boxes, and a simple informational narrative. Facts and exaggerated fiction mingle in both words and pictures. Young readers, listeners, and even adults will enjoy the humor and the curious infobits presented along with the usual important topics: distinguishing among the major groups and describing where crocs live around the world, their reptile characteristics, customary habitat and behavior, feeding, child-rearing, ways to avoid the threat they pose to humans, and the threats they face from humans. The illustrations are lively. On the title page, three crocs speed down a waterway in an Everglades-style airboat. An early spread shows an Australian freshwater crocodile floating underwater, with ears, eyes, and nostrils above. Its “powerful tail for swimming” is highlighted. The tail returns, later, when “The croc, powered by its muscular tail, bursts out of the water with its jaws open” to demolish a piñata at the birthday party. Repetition, humor, and surprise help cement the learning.A party to remember—and a species to respect. (Informational picture book. 4-9)