Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz with illustrations by Brian Floca

Hardcover, 80 pages
Expected publication: March 28th 2017 by Candlewick Press
Source: Publisher

I have several things to say about this book so…well okay I am a bit rusty at reviewing books so I am going to do in my own style. I mean, if you wanted Kirkus-type reviews, you would read Kirkus reviews, yes? Indeed.

Anyway, I like Laura Amy Schlitz’s books (though admittedly I have read only 2 on her backlist) and when I saw that she had an upcoming released (an illustrated book at that), I jumped at it both hands out. Princess Cora and the Crocodile is very amusing and supremely satisfying.

As you may have discerned from the title, the protagonist is Cora, a princess, whose parents need to take a chill pill. As soon as she’s practically born, they begin to worry about her comportment and brain and body and cleanliness, giving her an exacting schedule and making her learn all the dry things that ought not to be taught to children. I mean, all of the things mentioned previously are good and well but a certain modicum of restraint ought to be shown lest your children find themselves stressed and fatigued long before they reach their teen years.

Princess Cora never gets time to go out and play and get dirty. Her nanny has a phobia of dirt and makes her bathe three times a day. Her mother makes her read dry texts about money and banks etc. And her father makes her exercise like it’s a religion and she’s in need of saving. So Cora’s life is trying (I mean, as trying as it can be with enough food in your stomach, a warm place to sleep at night and no one trying to kill you; relativity).

Cora writes a letter to her fairy godmother and is sent a crocodile as a reply. The crocodile tells Cora to have a day off, dons a wig and a dress and takes her place. Cora’s nanny, father, and mother soon learn what happens when make a crocodile do the things he doesn’t want to. Lots of uh fleshy bits are chewed, some people are terrorized and well, Cora’s family learns to appreciate the diminutive Cora a lot more.

The book is fun, the illustrations beautiful and charming, and for those inclined to read about princesses and their difficult lives, this book will prove a treat. The diversity is non-existent so there’s that–which was a disappointing.

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