written and illustrated by Lucy Volpin
2017 (Little Bee Books)
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher
I'm sorry. I have no time for autographs today. I am about to create a masterpiece...
First of all, the name is ingenious. With the mustache on the crocodile, it's very clever right off the bat. In his mind, Crocodali is extremely talented. So much so that he doesn't have time for you or me. A blank canvas awaits him along with a few cans of paint (psst! They're primary colors.) and some brushes. But since you're so persistent in turning the pages, he enlists your help. Unfortunately, Crocodali doesn't appreciate it. The results don't meet to his approval. When you turn the page against his wishes, the painting suddenly changes in his eyes. He kind of likes it. Shake the book, he says. Now paint is all over the place, but with your help in turning the book, Crocodali adds some finishing touches and is quite pleased. With the canvas being wet, the master painter asks you to blow on it. This finishing touch turns out to be Pollockesque.
This would be a great book for an art teacher to use in their classroom to discuss famous painters and/or styles of painting. It's fun and pulls the reader in with the instructions from the creative crocodile. If you teach primary color recognition, this would be a popular choice for a read aloud in your classroom. I also think it's a good lesson on how to make lemonade out of lemons. What at first seems dire can turn into a masterpiece.