Review Blog

Oct 11 2015

The croco dolly by Martin McKenna

cover image

Omnibus, 2015. ISBN 9781742990712
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended, Crocodiles, Pets, Problem solving, Humour. When feisty Adelaide begins to cook a cake, she finds that one of the eggs she cracks, opens up to reveal a baby crocodile. They fall instantly in love with each other, but a problem exists: she is not allowed to keep a pet. Thinking about how to camouflage her new pet, she dresses him in her doll's clothes, complete with a wig and long eyelashes. He looks terrific as she shows him to her friends, although they can all see that this doll is unlike any other they have seen. One problem exists for Adelaide: Ozzy the croc keeps growing.
The fabulous illustrations reveal a delightful green crocodile that has eyes only for Adelaide. Growing bigger as we turn each page, the crocodile causes problems where ever they go. Each double page reveals the crocodile upsetting the scene and with a high level of humour in the detail, the patient Adelaide trying vainly to lessen Ozzy's impact on the population. Finally the queue of complainers at her door forces her to take measures that will ensure everyone is happy as she works out the ideal spot for Ozzy to be.
The story of Adelaide making sure that Ozzy's skills are put to good use is a delight and the digital illustrations certainly set the scene adding a level of brilliance to the tale. The images of Ozzy in the doll clothes are priceless and those of Adelaide trying vainly to fit in with her friends and their dolls most amusing. Readers will love Adelaide and her attempts a fitting in and will applaud her problem solving skills at the end. A crocodile frocking up! What fun. Fran Knight

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