Cindy Lou and her miniature poodle Fifi become just desserts at the school pet show.
Kulka introduces readers to Ernest as Ernest is introducing his pet crocodile, Gustave, to his friends while they get ready for the school pet show. Cindy Lou, a sniffy brat, says that Gustave should be banned. “What a stupid pet….He’ll bite everybody!” His crocodile doesn’t bite, says Ernest. He is well-behaved and does tricks, like juggle and ride a unicycle. But Cindy Lou keeps up her barrage of insults—and dastardly deeds like tripping Gustave—her face screwed into a rictus of disdain. She is such a nasty, sneering piece of work that it comes as a pleasure when she accidentally bounces a ball into Gustave’s maw. Cindy Lou and Fifi enter in pursuit, and well, it turns out that Gustave may not bite, but he has a great capacity to swallow. Au revoir, Cindy Lou, ma chère. Kulka softens the story at the very end, though it still packs a surprising punch. There is a pillowy softness to Gustave, though the rest of the characters have a crisp gaiety, all but you-know-who—Kulka draws Cindy Lou very broadly; still, into every life a Cindy Lou will fall.
An amusing twist that will make readers wonder about the meaning of a really well-trained crocodile. (Picture book. 5-9)