Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Brian Floca

Published by Candlewick

Summary:  Princess Cora’s parents are determined to train her right, which to their way of thinking includes three baths a day, endless studying of dull books, and a lot of skipping rope in the basement.  Cora tries to do what they ask of her, but what she really wants to do is play.  Certain that a dog would help her cause, she writes a letter to her fairy godmother requesting a pet.  The next morning, a box arrives with a large crocodile inside.  Sympathetic to Cora’s cause, the crocodile offers to pose as her for the day, while the princess takes off for some outdoor play.  The predictable chaos ensues, and when Princess Cora returns, her nanny is stuck in the bathtub, her mother is locked in a tower, and her father has been tied up with the jump rope.  Cora sets things to rights, but that night she tells her parents how she really feels, and her life begins to change for the better.  80 pages; grades K-3.

Pros:  A perfect skewering of 21st century overachieving parents.  Some readers may be wishing for their own crocodile.  The illustrations are perfect.

Cons:  Will the message be lost on the intended audience?

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