Toddlers who find Lodge’s Happy Birthday Moo Moo (2001) a touch tame will happily fasten on this toothier follow-up, a British import.
Once Mr Croc’s doorbell rings it’s all fun and games, as animal party guests line up to offer presents, boogie to a (judging from the musicians’ sombrero and maracas) Latin beat, and play hide-and-seek. Pull-tabs on each spread open a pop-up card and a gift box, set dancers to wriggling, and roll Mr Croc’s eyes in the brightly colored, very simple cartoon scenes. The question-and-answer narrative culminates in “Mr Croc, is it time for tea?” The turn of a big flap shoots the reveling reptile up from the page to SNAP! SNAP! in young viewers’ faces, along with a hearty “YES! It’s time for cake!” The pages and engineered effects are made from heavy stock—which is a good thing, as diapered devotees are sure to demand repeat servings.
Some literal jaw-dropping at the climax gives this party-hearty pop-up a big finish. (Pop-up picture book. 1-3)