Friday, April 20, 2012
Children's Book Review: Crocodile Tears
Written and illustrated by: Alex Beard
Published by: Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2011
Black Rhino and Tickbird want to know why Crocodile is crying. They search the African landscape for other animals who might know the answer. The few they find suggest Crocodile is sad that so many of them face extinction. But when Black Rhino finally asks Crocodile why he’s crying, he learns an interesting fact: Crocodile isn’t really crying; he’s wetting his eyes in the hot, dry sun like all crocodiles do. And Black Rhino learns something else about crocodiles: they can have you for lunch if you don’t watch out! Including a photo of each animal featured in the story along with a description of its current status on the list of endangered species, this picture book is a great educational tool. A share of the proceeds from sales of the book will go to the Shompole Community Trust, a land and animal reserve in Kenya.
* As you read this book you are transported to Africa where Black Rhino and Tickbird are on a quest to find out why Crocodile is crying. Beard has beautifully illustrated pictures of the endangered animals of Africa that we meet on Black Rhino and Tickbird's journey. The reader finds out about the development of the land which has left many animals without open spaces to roam. We were pleasantly surprised with the ending, which took an unexpected turn! The end of the book includes photographs of each of the animals introduced in the story, along with some information about its endangered status. Beard works to raise awareness of endangered animals and their habitats and has contributed part of the proceeds of this book to the Shompole Community Trust, a land and animal reserve in Kenya.
I dream of one day travelling to Africa to be able to see some of the animals mentioned in this book in person. For now, this book will have to do. This seems like a good resource for teaching about endangered animals. Unfortunately, we've had some tired, cranky children at bedtime these past few nights. And while we read the book to them we didn't get to discuss what "endangered" means or have them look at the photographs. Luckily, we still have another week or two before this book is due back at the library to do a reread with them.
Family Rating: 1 1/2 thumbs up.