Illustrated by Quentin Blake
Published by Alfred A. Knopf
Copyright © 1978
Dahl has taken us for a spin into the jungle with “The Enormous Crocodile.” Who doesn’t love a story about a big, bad monster who wants to eat children?
The Enormous Crocodile is hungry. Now, he could stay in the river with the other crocodiles and eat fish, but the Enormous Crocodile is ornery and mean and he has a hankering for children. Of course he knows that children aren’t going to just walk up to him and offer themselves for lunch, so he decides that he has to trick the children. Oh, the Enormous Crocodile thinks that he is exceedingly cunning and he does come up with some interesting ways to lure children into clutches, but he doesn’t count on other animals thwarting his plans.
Dahl has written a charming story that reminds everyone of two things: 1) be kind to others or they might just ruin your lunch plans, and 2) it is probably not a good idea to eat children anyway. The Enormous Crocodile is one of Dahl’s shorter stories written for a slightly younger audience than his usual fare (ages 6 and up) but enjoyable enough for older children like myself. The story might be a little scary for very little children, but the silliness of Dahl’s writings and Blakes illustrations, in addition to the fact that no child was eaten in the production of this story, offsets this nicely and should be enjoyed by all but the most sensitive child. This is a great book that I plan on reading to my son soon.