The Enormous Crocodile is the kind of book that if I had read it as a child, I would probably be terrified that a crocodile was going to come and eat me every night while I was trying to sleep. Even so, as an adult (and not particularly a fan of crocodiles), I found this book kind of chilling, but in a good way (if that makes any sense).
The Enormous Crocodile is about a very big crocodile with very big and sharp teeth and a desire to have a juicy and delicious child for lunch. Yep, this crocodile wants nothing more than to snack on some little kids, because he thinks they are simply delightful. He tries to talk his little crocodile friend, Notsobig One, into enjoying a kid-filled lunch with him, but Notsobig One really has no interest…believing that children are bitter and must be coated with tons of sugar, and really, what’s the point of hunting down bitter tasting children when there are plenty of yummy fish around?
The Enormous Crocodile passes several other animals in the jungle, such as Humpy-Rumpy the hippo, Trunky the elephant, and Muggle-Wump the monkey. Each one tells him that he is horrid for trying his desire to eat poor, innocent children, but The Enormous Crocodile doesn’t care – he still wants to snack on a kid. So he sneaks into the village, with plans of being clever and sneaky, and uses various tricks to try and lure the children up to him, including posing as an animal on a merry-go-round and pretending to be a see-saw in a playground. However, each of his attempts to snag a child for lunch are ruined by one of the forest animals, who work together to give The Enormous Crocodile exactly what he deserves!
I think I remember reading at least the beginning of the book, as it did seem very familiar to me, but I couldn’t recall the rest of it, so I was super excited to read it. I have a lot of love for many of Roald Dahl’s other books, and this classic story is gorgeously illustrated to make it even more of a delight to read.
I read the book to my four year old daughter, who thought it was silly, and we had a really good time reading it together. The story was such a charming delight about animals working together to keep the children of the village safe, and the interactions that they had with The Enormous Crocodile while talking to him were humorous and fun to read.
While I definitely could see it being a scary story for some kids, especially the odd detail that goes into things like how The Enormous Crocodile goes on about how the bones will be crunchy when he eats the kids, it’s still a fun read, and I think one that will be enjoyed for many years to come by adults and children alike.
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About Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.
Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie.
Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach – when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication of James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies.
Roald Dahl also enjoyed great success for the screenplays he wrote for both the James Bond film You Only Live Twice in 1967 and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, released one year later, which went on to become a beloved family film. Roald Dahl’s popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.
Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK.
The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.
On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that Roald Dahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.
1 winner can pick 5 books from the Roald Dahl collection! US Only.