Adventure-seeking red-dress–wearing brown girl + amenable crocodile = the perfect ingredients for finding a boatload of treasure.
Schwarz throws together a wild imagination, travel, and an unlikely pair of companions to create a fabulously enjoyable and visually rich picture book that will have young readers digging up their backyards and marking the perfect spots. Anna, a diminutive, card-playing, and determined little girl, suggests to her reptilian buddy that they "find gold." After planning, sketching, and reading each other's curious facial expressions, Anna and Crocodile set out to do just that. Readers always know where to look, as Anna's red dress and Crocodile's greenness stand out neatly against their black-and-white pencil-sketched background. When the tale becomes a full-blown imaginative adventure, however, mixed-media color spreads across both pages. They sail to the middle of the ocean and dive into its teeming, mysterious depths, and they find that gold. When the pair returns with their booty, color follows them, illustrating the life-changing power of fantastical thinking. Young treasure seekers will want to revisit this tale again and again, and when they do, they will be rewarded by details they missed on earlier readings.
As much of a treasure as the gold they find. (Picture book. 3-5)