I’d Really Like to Eat a Child, what a name for a children’s book! Children’s books are usually not about crocodiles eating children! We gravitated toward this unusual book at the library as soon as we saw it, curious as to what was inside and if it was scary. The author picked a great name to get kids to read it. It was the first book we read when we arrived back home.
This book starts with a cute green toothy crocodile family in what looks to be an African village; we can see huts in the background. The little one, named Achilles, is eating his breakfast of bananas and his crocodile parents are commenting on how he has grown! Then the crocodile Achilles stopped eating. He did not want a banana, only a child for breakfast would do. His Papa went to town and brought back a huge sausage, but Achilles did not want sausage to eat; he wanted to eat a child! His parents were beginning to worry since he was not eating anything, so they came up with a plan. What little alligator would turn away chocolate cake? Achilles did. His parents cry worrying about their little crocodile.
At about this time in the book, Achilles starts feeling not so well and the story says: Which is exactly what happens when you haven’t eaten your breakfast. He decides to go down to the river. We see a little girl sitting by the edge of the river. Achilles is excited as now he can eat a child as he wanted to do. The little girl looks down at the tiny crocodile and laughs at his antics. She picks him up, tickles his tummy, and then throws him in the river when she is finished playing. Hmmm, not exactly what Achilles had in mind! He goes back to his family asking for bananas so he can grow big and strong — big enough to eat a child.
This is such a fun story concept. It is an unusual story topic for a children’s book of a crocodile wanting to eat a child, but it was very enjoyable for us. My daughter enjoyed this book and laughed while she read it. She was not a bit scared by the little crocodile saying he wanted to eat a child nor surprised (as I was) that crocodiles eat bananas. The illustrations are simplistic color pictures showing an African village with huts and banana trees nearby. The happy little girl character has dark skin and many braids. The crocodiles cook the cake in a huge black pot over a campfire and the sausage is tied to Papa crocodile’s back.
The story ends with one last picture of Achilles sitting atop a huge mound of bananas, eating one of them. One to seven sentences per page make up the white text in the book along with two red words in the pictures. The little girl in the story actually comes off as a bully! If we lived near crocodiles, this story might not be as fun and might actually be very scary! So your mileage may vary depending on your locale! I would recommend for say kindergarten and up according to children’s fears.
Also by this author:
This Children’s Book Made Me Cry Long Time: I Already Know I Love You by Billy Crystal