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SOLOMON CROCODILE by Catherine Rayner


by Catherine Rayner & illustrated by Catherine Rayner

Age Range: 2 - 6

Pub Date: Dec. 20th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-374-38064-9
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Solomon Crocodile annoys and irritates the other creatures in the swamp.

Solomon loves making frogs jump, bugging the dragonflies and stalking the storks. But his idea of fun doesn’t win him any friends. None of them seem enjoy his games, and they tell him to stop being a nuisance, a pain, a pest and to just go way. The hippo is most emphatic in his denunciation of Solomon as “nothing but trouble,” and he slinks away to sulk because no one will play with him. When he hears a disturbance among the animals, he is frightened until he sees another crocodile, and they quickly join forces to become double trouble. Rayner employs descriptive and playful language to describe Solomon’s antics. Repetition of the phrase, “go away, Solomon, you’re nothing but….,” adds structure to the slight plot. Solomon’s toothy grin is ever present as he slithers through the swamp playing his tricks, and he appears appropriately chastised, sad or scared as the events warrant. Although Solomon is depicted as an exaggerated cartoon, the other creatures are drawn quite accurately. Unframed, large-scale illustrations fill double-page spreads with color and movement.

Solomon never really learns how to make friends, but a bit of discussion during a cuddly read-aloud could clarify the point. Light and entertaining fun. (Picture book. 2-6)