Princess Cora and the Crocodile Hardcover – Picture Book, 28 March 2017
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—The New York Times Book Review
An accomplished storyteller who knows her audience, Schlitz offers an original tale that seamlessly combines reality, magic, and wit. Floca’s expressive pencil, watercolor, and gouache artwork perfectly captures the characters...this early chapter book is beautifully designed for newly independent readers. For younger children, it’s a memorable choice for reading aloud in the home or classroom. Either way, it’s great fun.
—Booklist (starred review)
Legions of schoolchildren will empathize with overscheduled Princess Cora...In illustrations that amplify Schlitz’s wry humor, Caldecott Medalist Floca (Locomotive) produces a reptile that delightfully runs amuck. A mop wig and frilly dress let princess and croc to swap places, allowing Cora much-needed freedom while the crocodile trades insults with the Queen (“Reptile!” “Mammal!”) and gnaws on the fitness-obsessed King (just a little). Utterly charming from start to finish.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Schlitz’s narrative is incredibly entertaining, with chapters that alternate between chaos at the castle and Cora’s meandering day in the woods and pastures. Featuring Floca’s hysterical full-color artwork, the book is laugh-out-loud funny...The fable is reminiscent of the finest adult-comeuppance collaborations of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, with the added bonus that the princess learns to speak up for herself and the grown-ups learn to listen.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Seven spry chapters detail Cora’s much-needed day off and the crocodile’s humorous attempts to impersonate her. Copious ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations are both delicate in their sensibility (the way princesses often are in classic tales) and witty in their execution (i.e., the crocodile is very poorly disguised).
The crocodile's antics are juxtaposed against Cora's pastoral day and enhanced by Floca's ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations, which superbly amplify the story's emotional arc. All ends happily...A clever tale packed with wry wit and charming illustrations.
Floca’s crocodile achieves sly, good-natured ferocity tempered by the delicacy of the ink, watercolor and gouache illustrations, and the humans are just as serious and glum as they should be until Cora asserts her independence. Although divided into chapters, this standout original fairy tale can be devoured in one sitting, making it an excellent overall choice for early readers or a family readaloud.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Readers ages 5-10 will cheer when, with the grown-ups humbled, Cora stands up for herself at last and insists on fewer baths, better books, jollier exercise—and, in place of the crocodile, a dog of her own.
—The Wall Street Journal
Hilarious art in Victorian Era style shows the crocodile cross-dress as Cora, carry on in her place (she’s off to play in the dirt) and shake up the parents, all for an important point: Princess or not, it’s worth the struggle to be yourself and make your own choices.
—San Francisco Chronicle
A Newbery Medalist (“Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!”) and a Caldecott Medalist (“Locomotive”) team up for a very entertaining feminist fairy tale of a princess who rebels against her overbearing parents in rather novel ways.
Readers will find it hard to not love this inappropriate crocodile and his Princess owner.
—School Library Connection
Timely and incisive, this one's a keeper.
The Dahl-esque story has a classic feel, and Floca's art blends wit and beauty. A perfect read-aloud — though adults will need a sense of humor.
Whether you’re a Cora or a crocodile or a little bit of both, you’re bound to stand in wonder when you see what Schlitz and Floca have come up with together.
—A Fuse #8 Production (blog)
About the Author
Brian Floca is the author-illustrator of the Caldecott Medal winner Locomotive, the Robert F. Sibert Honor books Moonshot and Lightship, and other picture books, and is the illustrator of many more books for young readers. Brian Floca lives and works in Brooklyn.
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- Item Weight : 454 g
- Hardcover : 80 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0763648221
- ISBN-13 : 978-0763648220
- Product Dimensions : 18.42 x 1.37 x 24.28 cm
- Publisher : Candlewick (28 March 2017)
- Language: : English
- Reading level : 4 - 8 years
- Best Sellers Rank: #531,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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I would recommend this for all young readers. The language may be a little advanced for age 4, depending on the child, but the ideas and the illustrations will still carry the story; the language in the concepts could probably be interesting up through age 7 or 8, because there is enough to take from the story and the pictures as a jumping off point for further conversation. The mad, bad, wild, butt-biting crocodile also adds enough interest for any children who, on the face of it, might resist a story that seems to be about a nice princess.
On the negative side, it’s unfortunate that this is yet another children’s book that seems to show the world as consisting only of Caucasian people. The princess & castle type of story takes place in a fantasy Early Europe, when “European” was synonymous with “Caucasian.” So the author is just being consistent with this. Still, if we can imagine talking, magic crocodiles, maybe we can imagine less homogenous human characters in our contemporary books. This may be a consideration for families, like ours, that seek diversity in their reading.