'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday 22 September 2012

Review: Crocodile Beat

All is quite at the river as the crocodile sleeps in the sun. Slowly each animal adds their noises into the air, ending the peaceful atmosphere. Ducks are quacking and splashing. Elephants are thumping.

The jungle beat is like listening to an orchestra. With each new note the sound builds into a crescendo, creating a rumpus of ducks, elephants, monkeys, birds, a lion, a snake and a bear all dancing and stomping. The animals make so much noise that they wake the hungry crocodile. SNAP!

What does the crocodile catch in his jaws?

There is a humorous surprise at the end.

Gail Jorgensen’s poetry rolls off the tongue in a jungle drum rhythm combined with the onomatopoeia that encourages children to join in with the story.

“Down by the river in the heat of the day the crocodile sleeps and awaits his prey. Zzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzz Zzzzzzzzzz”

“Monkeys screech and chatter away. Chitter-chatter Chitter-chatter Chitter-chatter Eeeeek!”

This story entices children to join in with the animal sounds and movements. I have had a whole classroom of young children acting out the different animals in this story. They shrieked with glad delight, sounding like a menagerie. Crocodile beat is equally fun to read and act out with just one or two children at home.

Patricia Mullins’s collage tissue-paper illustrations are dynamic and textural, creating a layered effect where the colours project the warmth of the jungle sun.

Crocodile Beat will have your feet tapping (or is that thumping) and your body swaying in a heartbeat.

- this review by Leanne Barrett

Title: Crocodile Beat
Author: Gail Jorgensen
Illustrator: Patricia Mullins
Publisher: Omnibus Books $13.99 RRP
Publication Date: 1991
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781862910782
For ages: 4 - 7
Type: Picture Book