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WHAT TIME IS IT, MR. CROCODILE? by Judy Sierra Kirkus Star


by Judy Sierra & illustrated by Doug Cushman

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-15-216445-6
Publisher: Gulliver/Harcourt

A zingy original tale for children needing a brush-up on clock-reading, schedule-keeping—or the perils of hanging out with five frisky monkeys. Crocodile stubbornly tries to adhere to his neatly typed schedule: “2:00. Shop for food. 3:00. Bath and snack. 4:00. Catch those pesky monkeys. 5:00. Cook those pesky monkeys . . . ”—but to a chorus of the title question, his simian tormenters continually distract him by fooling around, and ultimately throw a spanner into the works of his tractor-like monkey-catching machine. In the wake of the ensuing wreck, Crocodile suffers a change of heart, and amends his schedule: “Play catch with those pesky nice monkeys.” Giving his art a rougher, less-finished look than usual, Cushman puts a clock-face in each scene, captures the monkeys’ energy without leaving the pages looking over-busy, and pairs with Sierra’s lively text—“What TIME is it, Mr. Crocodile? Time to shop where it’s smart at the Crocodile Mart. / How did all these BANANAS get into my cart?!?”—to make any time the right time for this irresistible rhyme. (Picture book. 6-8)