This is a story about a little crocodile who just didn’t fit in with the kinds of things his brothers and sisters liked to do. He didn’t like water and definitely didn’t take to swim club, even with a rubber ring. He was good at other things, such as climbing, but his brothers and sisters just weren’t interested in that. Eventually he finds his talents lie in completely different directions and he was not meant to like water or swim at all.
There is a pleasing rhythm to the text which makes it great to read aloud and there is lots to talk about too. Reminiscent of the Ugly Duckling, this is an amusing story with a surprise ending which leads to thinking about being different, feeling lonely and wanting to fit in, finding what you are good at and being accepted for who you are.
Share the story
Before you start reading the story look at the illustration on the end papers of the basket of eggs and the basket being carried. What do children think might happen in this story? Read the story aloud pausing when the little crocodile says he knew what to buy. What could it be? Talk about this then continue reading aloud the rest of the story.
As you read the story again children could join in, for example with the count down to the crocodile jumping in the water, or the repetition of phrases such as ‘this little crocodile’.
Talk more about the story
Talk about how the little crocodile felt about his brothers and sisters and what they might have thought about him.
Have children heard any other stories like this?
What does your child know about dragons, have they seen pictures of dragons or heard stories about them?
Watch the story
Watch the story being read aloud
From: Story Time Kids
Things to make and do
Do some counting
Count the baby crocodiles and count their shoes, by the bath and by the bed.
Do some sorting
Collect plastic or soft toys and sort them together into creatures which like water and creatures that don’t.
Make up a story
Make up a story together about the dragon who didn’t like fire. Perhaps he is really a crocodile? What would he like doing? Perhaps you could write it down and children could draw pictures to go with it.
Make a crocodile or a dragon fact sheet
What do children know about crocodiles? Talk about together about what they know and make a fact sheet.
Alternatively children might like to make a fact sheet about an imaginary creature – a dragon.
Find out more
Find out about author/illustrator Gemma Merino here.
Read another book by Gemma Merino: The Cow who climbed a Tree
Share other stories about creatures who don’t belong in their families:
Watch the story of The Ugly Duckling – Walt Disney cartoon
From: Stefanie Lau
Read The Odd Egg by Emily Gravett
Find out more about crocodiles
Look at an information webpage about crocodiles together. What would your child like to find out? See if you can help them find answers to one or two of their questions.