Tuesday, 29 December 2009
Little Croc's Purse - Lizzie Finlay
"One hot day, Little Croc finds a lost purse. "Finders keepers!" tease his friends, imagining a treat of lemonade and a lovely cool swim. But Little Croc is determined to find the purse's owner ... Will his honesty be rewarded ? Or will he be tempted to spend the money instead ?
A delightful, humorous tale of honesty, generosity and friendship."
The blurb on the back of the book sums it up nicely and, although the book has a very strong moral, it is in no way condescending or holier-than-thou. Little Croc does consider all the options before deciding to give the purse back and his friends all think he should just keep it, so your kids get the added message of not having to go along with what their friends say to fit in - Little Croc goes against the general concensus of opinion but his friends still like him and respect him. When he comes up against the lying, slightly intimidating Murdock, he stands his ground - a good message for anyone being bullied at school - and even gives him a gift at the end. I love the fact that although Little Croc is rewarded for his honesty and can keep the money, we also see that the owner is really happy to have found a precious locket that was hidden in a secret part of the purse - so kids get to see that sometimes, our actions can have unexpected consequences on others.
The illustrations are lovely too, with lots of details that will appeal to adults reading the story at bedtime - such as the name of Mrs Doolally or the restaurant Croc Monsieur - but also little touches that children will pick up on. 4-year-old Juliette loved seeing a crocodile with a moustache, for example.
The story is just the right length for bedtime - I didn't feel the need to skim over a few pages to speed things up, as is often the case ! - and Juliette stayed interested right up until the end. It's also the perfect length and level of difficulty for an elder brother or sister to read to their younger sibling.
It's a lovely story with great morals and values, nicely packaged with interesting, highly detailed and brightly coloured illustrations. I know this is one book that will be pulled out time and time again for bedtime reading !
star rating : 4.5/5
Red Fox Picture Books
publication date : 07/01/2010
RRP : £5.99