Children's Bookshelf: Princess Cora & the Crocodile

Dec 18, 2017

“Princess Cora & the Crocodile” written by Newbery Award winner Laura Amy Schlitz and illustrated by Caldecott Award winner Brian Floca is a fun-filled chapter book for 5-8 year olds about a real problem set in a make believe world.

Princess Cora wants a break from her constant training to be the next monarch. Her daily activities include reading budgets, maps and books with her mother, the Queen, half of the day and building her physical strength by jumping rope faster and faster with her father, the King, during the other half of the day! And in between her Nanny makes sure she takes three baths per day to stay tidy! This overscheduled little princess who never smiles rebels by writing to her fairy Godmother and asking her to get her day off!

The very next day Godmother sends Cora a crocodile. This is no ordinary crocodile but rather, as Brian Floca’s fun-drenched illustrations depict, a real prankster who just happens to like cream puffs. First the crocodile dresses up in Princess Cora’s pink dress, adds a wig and sends the princess out to play while he takes her place at her daily routines. Then the crocodile changes the action as Nanny is the one who takes a bath, the Queen is the one who is locked up with boring budget books and the King is the one who is tangled up in his own jump rope. Floca’s illustrations of this crocodile mayhem are happy, energetic and full of delightful facial expressions.

Meanwhile Princess Cora goes outside to walk in the woods, climb a tree, wade in a stream, eat wild strawberries and get very very dirty! This fairytale romp ends up with the understanding that all work and no play doesn’t make a happy day.

“Princess Cora & the Crocodile” written by Laura Amy Schlitz and illustrated by Brian Floca is a wonderfully designed chapter book for 5-8 year olds (Candlewick, 2017). This is Sue Ann Martin for The Children’s Bookshelf.

Questions and Activities for Princess Cora and the Crocodile

In this story Princess Cora spent a free day outside the castle doing what she wanted including going for a walk in the woods, climbing a tree, eating wild strawberries, getting dirty and wading in a stream. If you were given a free day to do whatever you wished what would you do? Think about it and make up a list of your activities. Include any special place you have always wanted to go or person you have always wanted to meet or activity you have always wanted to do.

What is the crocodile’s life story? Draw a picture or write a short biography that explains who this crocodile could be.  Use your imagination----where does he live, what is his name, how old is he, what are his hobbies, what kind of books does he read, what is his favorite pastime, how does he relax and  what does he like to eat, besides cream puffs?

What did you think was in the box that was sent by the fairy godmother before you saw the crocodile? If you had a fairy godmother who was sending you a gift inside a box what would you like to receive? Why?