This book about a large and hungry crocodile in late 18th century Venice, is a sequel to I, Crocodile, by author-illustrator Fred Marcellino, who died before finishing the second book. Fine artist Eric Puybaret (Suite for Human Nature, Puff the Magic Dragon), chosen for his compatible style, rendered the sequel’s watercolor illustrations lively with fanciful details and sly humor, and featuring polished architectural and fabric designs evocative of the time. The book picks up after the crocodile has escaped captivity in Paris (brought there by Napoleon as a souvenir of his trip to Egypt). He sneaks a ride with Napoleon’s caravan to Venice, Italy; then takes to the canals, searches for food, and follows his sizeable nose to a buffet at a fancy costume ball. Proving himself to be quite the dancer, the crocodile becomes the star of the ball. When Napoleon appears, determined to bring him back to Paris (for culinary reasons, it is suggested), the crocodile’s new friends defend him and drive his would-be captor out of the city. The crocodile’s toothy farewell to “that bully” Napoleon, is the book’s last comical, and satisfying, image.
Lynne Heffley ©2019 Parents’ Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat.