BOOK REVIEWS

Princess Cora and the Crocodile Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2017-07-08 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 0 user ratings
ISBN:0763648221
LANGUAGE:English

"What can I say? I am a fan of fairy tale stories, and this is one. It is original and a break away from the standards like "Cinderella" and "Sleeping Beauty," but it has all of the fairy tale elements nonetheless.

Princess Cora is the precious only child of the king and queen. And though they adore her, they believe that she must be ready to take over the kingdom someday. They make it their mission to prepare her for this inevitable future. Yet, their efforts at doing so give her a miserable existence. Her nanny is obsessed with her cleanliness and consequently forces her to bathe three times a day. When she is not in the bathtub, Cora is up in the tower with her mother for her lessons. The queen decides what she will learn about (things like banking and money) and forces her to read monotonous books on these boring topics. And when Cora is not in lessons or taking baths, the king is working with her on becoming strong by making her run around and jump rope. She is angry and miserable. Then, one evening, it occurs to her to ask her parents for a pet dog. Cora believes this will help to make her much happier. They do not honor her request.

In a last ditch effort, Cora writes a letter to her fairy godmother for help. She is sent a crocodile who promises to help her out. The plan they devise involves dressing the crocodile like Cora, in a dress and a wig made from a mop. While the crocodile follows Cora's daily schedule, she gets to enjoy a fun day outside. She climbs trees, wades in the stream, and wanders among the fields surrounding the castle. Things back inside the castle are much more chaotic. The crocodile's disguise does not work, and he ends up wreaking havoc. He throws the nanny into the bathtub, spills ink all over the tower room and proceeds to bite the queen and lock her inside, and ties up the king while also biting his rear end. Needless to say, the princess is a wreck when she finds out what happened.

Luckily, the crazy antics with the crocodile put the nanny, king, and queen in a position to actually listen to her. She explains how she would like to take less baths, choose her own books, and exercise in ways other than just running and jump roping. They all agree these changes would be acceptable, and Cora even ends up with a puppy of her very own.
" said.

"When Princess Cora was born, her parents were overjoyed. Their perfect baby would someday be Queen. But how to insure that she will be the best Queen possible? Her parents, the King and Queen, decide the way to do that is to teach her and to train her for the job. The King and Queen no longer saw their daughter as perfect and began to think about what was wrong with her.

And so, they began to do nothing but teach and train her so that by the time Princess Cora is 7 years old, she does nothing but read dull, boring books, take endless baths, and exercise in the old castle’s prison turned exercise room. They even refuse her request for a dog - they are dirty and beside, Princess Cora has no time to spare for a dog. Tired of her life being macro-managed by her parents and having no fun, Princess Cora decides to write to her fairy godmother for help.

And help does arrive - in the form of a large, green crocodile who is about a different from Princess Cora as anything possibly could be. Putting on a mop wig and one of Princess Cora’s dresses, the two swap places for a day.

While Princess Cora finally gets to have some free time, and go exploring without anyone telling her what to do or how to behave, her replacement in the castle wrecks havoc with the nanny, the Queen and even the King. When Princess Cora returns, she can’t believe what the crocodile has done, but maybe, just maybe, he has caused enough problems he has managed to open the parents eyes to the possibility that they had over-scheduled her life and some free time might be a good idea. But, does, Princess Cora get that puppy, after all?

Princess Cora and the Crocodile is a fairy tale that is bound to make young readers laugh out loud, given author Laura Amy Schlitz’s dry yet age appropriate wit coupled with her clear and and direct writing style, and well-structured plot. Brian Floca’s wonderfully humorous ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations compliments and extends the fairy tale quality of the story. Together, they have created a lighthearted tale though with some pretty serious undertones about the lives of some of today’s children.

If you are looking for a excellent early chapter book, than look no further than Princess Cora and the Crocodile. Parents and their young readers will love at the crazy antics of the crocodile, while kids will definitely empathize with Princess Cora's plight and cheer her on as she takes some measure of control over her life.

This also made a great read aloud story for my young readers. But, this time, we did something different. I had thought this would make a great book for young readers read to their parents (and maybe they will take the hint about macro-managing the lives of their kids), especially over the summer when there is no school or any after school activities going on. It was quite successful when we tried it. The kids had fun, particularly when it can to the crocodile's dialogue and they got in some nice, lighthearted reading practice without feeling like Princess Cora.

This book is recommended for readers age 5+
This book was sent to me by the publisher, Candlewick Press

This review was originally posted on Randomly Reading
" said.

" I, too, would like to have a crocodile impersonate me for a day in exchange for creampuffs.This book is perfect. " said.

" Sweet, short, illustrated novel about a princess who lives a strictly regimented (boring) life until she asks her fairy godmother for a golden, fluffy dog and gets a crocodile - who broadens her outlook and spices up her routine. " said.

" I enjoyed this highly illustrated, quick-read, chapter book! I LOVE crocodiles and outdoor adventures, which are both on display in this short book! An absolutely fun read! " said.

" Very cute! Princess Cora's pet crocodile, a gift from her fairy godmother, dresses up like Cora and pretends to be her so Cora can have some fun, and escape her daily 3 baths, study of economics and calisthenics. My granddaughters loved it. " said.

"First sentence: When Princess Cora was born, her mother and father thought she was as perfect as a snowflake.

Premise/plot: Soon after she was born, Princess Cora's parents stopped thinking she was perfect and began to worry about training her to be the next queen. Cora's training is 24/7. Her nanny has her taking at least three baths a day; the queen has her reading dry, boring books and studying for hours at a time; the king has her skipping ropes for hours so that she'll be the strongest monarch ever. Cora doesn't have it in her to rebel against the system directly, but, she does write her fairy godmother with one little request. She wants a pet. (She really wants a dog, but her note doesn't specify that clearly.) She ends up ripping up the note--which then turns into a butterfly--because she can't go with it. But to her surprise, the fairy godmother responds to her plea for help and does send her a pet. The pet she gets? A crocodile, of course! Will her pet crocodile save her from a life of misery?

My thoughts: I really LOVED this one. It was very silly, but also a lot of fun. It isn't your typical princess story, not really. This princess story has some bite to it. Overall, I'd say it was a very enjoyable early chapter book for young readers. The message is LIVE MORE, worry less. And sometimes that's the exact message parents need to hear. (Because it isn't just kings and queens who worry about training their child to BE SOMETHING.)
" said.

" Princess Cora and the Crocodile is a wonderful twisted fairy tale! Cora is a princess whose family only wants her to be a good ruler: wise, strong, and clean. But her life is so boring! Luckily, a canny crocodile comes along to open everyone's eyes. Charming and whimsical, Schlitz's humor and Floca's illustrations are a marvelous combination. A wonderful successor to Shannon and Dean Hale's Princess in Black series, for the slightly older reader. " said.

August 2017 New Book:

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