Crocodiles Say…


32 pages
ISBN 1-896580-30-0
DDC jC813'.54





Reviewed by Britta Santowski

Britta Santowski is a freelance writer in Victoria.


This book takes young readers through a day in the life of a crocodile.
One page relates what they do (“Crocodiles rise before the sun.
Sleeping in for them’s no fun. They greet the morning one by one.”),
and another pages reports what they say (“Good morning sun!”).

Here’s what the narrative advocates: don’t sleep in, don’t be
rude, chew with your mouth shut, brush your teeth, dress with care,
enjoy school, exercise daily, play nicely, and sleep well. In all these
imperatives, being happy is implicit: each page features some wide-eyed
crocodiles blissfully smiling.

While the words tell one story, the illustrations tell another. The
crocodiles are seen up in the middle of the night, sleeping in, eating
like pigs, smearing toothpaste all around, and so forth. The rhyme and
rhythm will appeal to young children, as will the learn-by-rote chants
that children can gleefully shout out at the appropriate spot.
Unfortunately, Heidbreder’s images sharply contrast with his
overwhelmingly didactic narrative, which causes some confusion.
Recommended with reservations.


Heidbreder, Robert., “Crocodiles Say…,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 22, 2024,