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Princess Cora and the Crocodile
Author: Schlitz, Laura Amy Illustrator: Floca, Brian
Publisher: Candlewick
Age: 7-10  Grade: 2-5  LC: PZ7.S347 
ISBN-10: 0763648221  ISBN-13: 9780763648220  Brodart No: 117257729 
Language: English  Descriptors: Chapter Book
Demand: Hot  Print Run: 60000 
Pub Date: 03/28/2017
Availability: Available
List: $16.99
Physical Description: 72 pages : color illustrations ; 25 cm LCCN: BD17033121 
LC Series:
Brodart Sources: Brodart's For Youth Interest Titles
Brodart's For Youth Interest: Popular
Brodart's Fresh Reads for Kids TIPS Selections
Brodart's TOP Juvenile Titles
Starred Reviews: Booklist
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
Awards: Booklist Starred Reviews 
Horn Book Guide Titles, Rated 1 - 4 
Notable Children's Books, ALA 
Publishers Weekly Annual Best Books Selections 
Publishers Weekly Starred Reviews 
School Library Journal Starred Reviews 
TIPS Subjects: Animals
SEARS Subjects: Princesses, Fiction
LC Subjects: Animals, Fiction
Animals, Juvenile fiction
Magic, Fiction
Magic, Juvenile fiction
Princesses, Fiction
Princesses, Juvenile fiction
Reading Programs: Accelerated Reader Level: 4.1, Points: 1.0
Lexile Level: 590
Reading Counts Level: 3.3, Points: 4.0
Brodart's TOP Juvenile Titles | 03/01/2017
Publisher Annotation: Princess Cora is sick of boring lessons. She’s sick of running in circles around the dungeon gym. She’s sick, sick, sick of taking three baths a day. And her parents won’t let her have a dog. But when she writes to her fairy godmother for help, she doesn’t expect that help to come in the form of a crocodile—a crocodile who does not behave properly. With perfectly paced dry comedy, children’s book luminaries Laura Amy Schlitz and Brian Floca send Princess Cora on a delightful outdoor adventure — climbing trees! getting dirty! having fun! — while her alter ego wreaks utter havoc inside the castle, obliging one pair of royal helicopter parents to reconsider their ways. 80pp., Color Ill.
 Starred Reviews:
Booklist | 12/15/2016
Grades 1-3. Princess Cora leads a well-ordered life, with three daily baths, dull books to study, and a skipping rope for supervised exercise. After her royal parents refuse to give her a dog, her fairy godmother sends a talking crocodile instead. Alarmingly fierce-looking but potentially an ally, if fairy godmothers can be trusted, the crocodile appears to be the worst pet imaginable, but he's exactly what the princess needs. She takes a day off to run outside and play while the croc, dressed in her pink dress, upends her usual routine. By the day's end, when Cora speaks up for herself, her frazzled parents are ready to listen. An accomplished storyteller who knows her audience, Schlitz offers an original tale that seamlessly combines reality, magic, and wit. Floca's expressive pencil, watercolor, and gouache artwork perfectly captures the characters, from the well-intentioned but unreflective parents to the muscular, wild-eyed crocodile, who looks particularly ludicrous and cagey when wearing Cora's dress and petticoats. With fairly large type, ample white space, and lively, colorful illustrations on almost every page, this early chapter book is beautifully designed for newly independent readers. For younger children, it's a memorable choice for reading aloud in the home or classroom. Either way, it's great fun. Phelan, Carolyn. 80p. AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION, c2016.
Publishers Weekly | 01/16/2017
Ages 4-8. Legions of schoolchildren will empathize with overscheduled Princess Cora, whose well-meaning but misguided royal parents insist that a regimen of boring reading, mindless exercise, and frequent bathing is the only way to ensure that she'll be fit to inherit the throne. After they refuse her a dog, Cora channels her simmering anger into a letter to her fairy godmother, which she then rips up--a toothless act of rebellion that Schlitz (The Hired Girl) infuses with magic: "Because it was a letter to her fairy godmother, every scrap turned into a white butterfly and flew away." Cora's godmother gets the message, delivering a pet the monarchs justly deserve: a crocodile with an outsize id and none of Cora's impulse to please. In illustrations that amplify Schlitz's wry humor, Caldecott Medalist Floca (Locomotive) produces a reptile that delightfully runs amuck. A mop wig and frilly dress let princess and croc to swap places, allowing Cora much-needed freedom while the crocodile trades insults with the Queen ("Reptile!" "Mammal!") and gnaws on the fitness-obsessed King (just a little). Utterly charming from start to finish. Author's agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. (Mar.). 80p. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, c2017.
School Library Journal | 01/01/2017
Gr 1-4--Little Cora is an old-fashioned princess with a decidedly contemporary problem: her well-meaning parents have overscheduled her with improving experiences, and she just wants a day off. Failing at her less than assertive attempts to convince the adults of her castle to give her a break, she calls on her fairy godmother for assistance. The help comes in the form of a gigantic crocodile who dons Cora's frilly pink dress and takes her place in the princess's daily routine of excessive bath taking, spreadsheet review, and calisthenics in the dungeon-turned-gym. Schlitz's narrative is incredibly entertaining, with chapters that alternate between chaos at the castle and Cora's meandering day in the woods and pastures. Featuring Floca's hysterical full-color artwork, the book is laugh-out-loud funny. The crocodile's expressive, snaggle-toothed face and extreme body language clearly convey his frustration with Cora's required activities, and his eventual shutdown of each oblivious adult is a bored child's dream come true. The fable is reminiscent of the finest adult-comeuppance collaborations of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake, with the added bonus that the princess learns to speak up for herself and the grown-ups learn to listen. The book's trim size and artwork will appeal to fans of Kate DiCamillo's "Mercy Watson" series, and the elegant prose reads aloud beautifully. VERDICT This delightful illustrated chapter book is a first purchase for all elementary schools and public libraries. Beth Wright Redford, Richmond Elementary School Library, VT. 80p. SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, c2017.
 Journal Reviews
BookPage | 04/03/2017
4 to 8. BookPage Children'sTop Pick, April 2017. Poor Princess Cora. Her anxious parents are determined to fix all of the things that might be wrong with her. Their solution is to keep her overscheduled. Cue excessive hygiene (three baths a day) with the nanny, studies over dull books with the Queen and intensive exercise sessions with the King. Cora, who just wants to play, so deeply resents her tightly scheduled life that she writes a letter to her fairy godmother. Wishing for a dog, she ends up with a crocodile, who promises to chew on people Cora doesn't like. She strikes a deal with the reptile--"I want a day off," she tells him--and he takes her place, dressing like her and telling her to head out and have fun. The look on Princess Cora's face here is spectacular, as she's never once had the opportunity to see what leisure is like. This ruse works long enough for Cora to get dirty and have a blast outside. The adults back at the castle are too preoccupied (only at first) to notice that Cora's place has been taken by a crocodile, one who essentially imprisons everyone, simulating Cora's own daily experiences. On the castle grounds, Cora engages all her senses in moments of exploration and wonder, all the while putting her problem-solving skills to work. Through all this, Princess Cora finds peace. She also rescues herself on her own terms, speaking up in the end for what she wants, having found her courage in her play. Newbery winner Laura Amy Schlitz, in seven well-paced chapters, has a lot to say about the modern phenomenon of rigorous educational standards and children's lack of free time for play. As the crocodile wisely asks Cora, what kind of life is one with no trouble? There's also a lot of humor here: The crocodile's get-up as a little girl is delightfully absurd, and Brian Floca brings it all to vivid life in his playful illustrations. Timely and incisive, this one's a keeper. Julie Danielson. 80p. BOOKPAGE, c2017.
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books | 02/01/2017
R. Gr. 2-4. By age seven, Princess Cora doesn't have a minute to herself; she is scrubbed to spotless perfection by a thrice-daily bath schedule imposed by her nanny, bored to tears by her mother's endless nonfiction reading lessons, and frustrated by her father's monotonous fitness regimen. Fortunately, her fairy godmother sends her a crocodile, and after soliciting a promise that he won't eat anyone, Cora escapes to the great outdoors and has a lovely day while the croc wreaks havoc on her adults' exacting plans. Schlitz creates storytelling alchemy here, taking a common enough contemporary problem of the overscheduled child and reworking it into a mythically satisfying tale. Cora's mundane adventures-figuring out how to climb a tree, picking strawberries, stepping in a cow pie-are cunningly juxtaposed against the crocodile's absurd interventions, wherein he uses just enough physical violence, nipping and clawing the royal parents, to elicit laughs from readers and get the characters' attention so that Cora can make her point upon her return. Floca's crocodile achieves sly, good-natured ferocity tempered by the delicacy of the ink, watercolor and gouache illustrations, and the humans are just as serious and glum as they should be until Cora asserts her independence. Although divided into chapters, this standout original fairy tale can be devoured in one sitting, making it an excellent overall choice for early readers or a family readaloud. KC. 80p. THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF THE UNIV. OF ILLINOIS, c2017.
Horn Book | 01/01/2017
Primary. Princess Cora's mother and father have the best intentions. Since being perfect in the eyes of one's parents doesn't entirely prepare a girl to be queen, they must train her. "A princess must be wise," says the queen, forcing only the dullest books upon Cora. "A future queen must be strong!" insists the king, overseeing Cora's jump-rope regimen. They even hire a nanny to see to her personal grooming (three baths a day because: "Do you want to smell bad?"). Cora longs for a dog to keep her company. The grownups say no, but her fairy godmother delivers a pet: a crocodile. It's not a particularly cuddly one ("I bite"), but it is devoted to Cora ("I'll only bite people you don't like"), and when the girl decides that a break is what she needs, the crocodile--wearing Cora's dress and a wig made from a mop--takes her place. Seven spry chapters detail Cora's much-needed day off and the crocodile's humorous attempts to impersonate her. Copious ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations are both delicate in their sensibility (the way princesses often are in classic tales) and witty in their execution (i.e., the crocodile is very poorly disguised). By the end, Cora's parents--who are actually quite progressive in their beliefs about a young lady's powers--have seen the error in their methods, with only minimal biting required. elissa gershowitz. 74pg. THE HORN BOOK, c2017.
Horn Book Guide | 11/01/2017
2. Princess Cora longs for a dog. The grownups say no, but her fairy godmother delivers a pet--a crocodile--who takes the girl's place (wearing Cora's dress and a wig) when she needs a break. Seven spry chapters detail Cora's much-needed day off and the crocodile's humorous attempts to impersonate her. Copious ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations are witty in their execution. erg. 74pg. THE HORN BOOK, c2017.
Kirkus Reviews | 01/01/2017
Princess Cora, tired of her young life as a queen-in-training, asks her fairy godmother for a pet--with unexpected results. When Princess Cora was born, the King and Queen (both white, like their daughter) exclaim over her perfection. But the realization that Cora will someday be queen turns their delight into an obsessive diligence in training Cora in dull topics punctuated by tedious exercise. Add the three-baths-a-day regime that her nanny (also white) insists on, and Cora is now one unhappy princess. Denied a pet dog, Cora writes an appeal to her fairy godmother, and the next morning finds a box at the foot of her bed containing a large crocodile. Schlitz's dry humor is on gleeful display as the crocodile, switching places with Cora (so she can have a day off), evens the score on her behalf with the King, Queen, and nanny. The crocodile's antics are juxtaposed against Cora's pastoral day and enhanced by Floca's ink, watercolor, and gouache illustrations, which superbly amplify the story's emotional arc. All ends happily. And the crocodile? He may or may not be living in the lily pond, but Princess Cora tosses in cream puffs (the croc's favorite thing besides chewing on people) whenever she walks her new pet dog, just in case he is. A clever tale packed with wry wit and charming illustrations. (Illustrated fantasy. 6-9). 80pg. KIRKUS MEDIA LLC, c2017.