Professional Crocodile

Every morning elegant Mr. Crocodile rises to the "DRIIIIIINN" of his alarm clock and readies himself for the day. Along with the other (mostly human) workaday citizens of his city, he brushes his teeth, gets dressed and drinks his coffee before taking the elevator down to the street to catch his subway. There's so much to see: the vibrant city offers up flowers, fragrant baked goods and roasted "polli," or chicken, as well as terrific people-watching. Although the commute is crowded and hectic at times--at one point Mr. Crocodile is wedged so tightly in the subway car, he must point his long snout straight up into the armpit of a fellow traveler--our hero is sanguine, clutching his briefcase in one hand and sneaking peeks at his newspaper in the other. Arriving at his workplace, Mr. Crocodile heads for the locker room to change into his work duds. Readers will laugh in delight when they finally discover what Mr. Crocodile's job is.

Italian writer and author team Giovanna Zoboli (The Big Book of Slumber; Animal Supermarket) and Mariachiara Di Giorgio take an unlikely subject--the urban commute of a professional crocodile--and magically turn it into an absolutely charming wordless picture book. Di Giorgio's sophisticated illustrations are designed to be pored over, packed with subtle details, such as the moment a passing car puddle-splashes a window-shopping Mr. Crocodile--look closer and see that the frazzled woman driving the car has a cranky kid distracting her. Young readers will giggle to see the (discreet) side view of Mr. Crocodile sitting on the toilet, blue-striped pajamas around his slipper-clad ankles. Professional Crocodile is certain to spark readers' imaginations while putting a smile on their faces. --Emilie Coulter, freelance writer and editor

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