"It really is a pity
That you had to leave the city
Because of all the horrifying critters
GIANT tabby cats
And defiant scabby rats
Large enough to swallow baby-sitters"
So begins Crocs, by David T. Greenberg, illustrated by Lynn Munsinger (2008, Little Brown). The hero flees the horrors of the urban jungle, to a tropical island where at last he feels at peace. But this does not last long:
"Pudgy as a panda
relaxed on your veranda
wiggling your toes within your socks
You sadly have no notion
All around you, in the ocean
Are tons and tons of terrifying CROCS!"
The crocs are wild, and scary, and wacky as all get out (as only Lynn Munsinger's crocs could be). They wreck crodocilian havoc, but in a playful way, luring the child into their reptilian world, and things are working out happily. Then a croc whose like you've never seen in a picture book before emerges from the ocean...
Cliche time (but true none the less): "playful, rollicking verse" coupled with "enchantingly diverting pictures." (Although actually I don't think "diverting" is used that much). But regardless, this book is fun to read aloud, and fun to look at, and kind of strange. Definitely one for the child who appreciates more than a bit of surreality with their playful, rollicking verse.
David T. Greenberg has, according to the jacket flap, been dubbed "our emerging poet of Gross" by the New York Times. There was only one small grossness in this book, however. I haven't read any of his other books (Slugs, for instance), but I shall look for them. Lynn Munsinger I already know and love, on account of Tacky the Penguin and Custard the Dragon.
For more Poetry Friday fun, head over to the roundup at Under the Covers.