There's a Crocodile in the House

There's a Crocodile in the House

By Author / Illustrator

Paul Cookson, Liz Million



Age range(s)



Otter-Barry Books Ltd




Paperback / softback




Paul Cookson's staggeringly versatile range as a performance poet is fully displayed in this new collection. Humour, danger, wonder, surprise are the elements underlying his work. The collection contains some poems that need to be shouted and some that have to be whispered very quietly. There are many interactive poems in which a whole class or group of children can participate.



Paul Cookson's new collection of poems, There's A Crocodile in the House, is bursting with fun and rich opportunities to perform. From the title poem on: 'Big sharp teeth / Open mouth / There's a crocodile in the house /... I did not know / What to do / There's a crocodile in the loo/', we know we are in a very safe (if unruly!) pair of poetic hands.

Dinosaurs abound: 'The King of all Dinosaurs' (p.13) is a glorious romp of a poem. In common with many of the other poems, there's a performance tip too. In this case, the audience should be encouraged to join in with the repeated 'Rex!' at the end of every verse: 'RRRREX!' and 'hold up their hands like dinosaur claws'. There is just as much performance fun to be had with 'The T Rex Rocks' (p.58).

As well as dinosaurs, who can resist a robot teacher ('Robot teachers in our School' p. 22)? Each class has their own robot teachers offering an incentive for children to design one for their class.

There's a series of short whacky poems about animals 'The Warty Hog', (p.64), 'The Porky Pine' (p.65), The Gorillama (p.69) and my favourite, 'Lowena' (p.68): 'A little like the hyena /But never seen at all / They're very, very, very , very very, very / very, very small'//

Liz Million's illustrations complement the verve and humour of the collection: her chirpy crocodile lolling in the bath and eye-balling the reader captures the mood of the book completely. Look out for her hilarious illustrations of a snail in socks and a frog in roller skates accompanying 'Animals don't wear clothes' (p.34). Kick started by her illustrations, there is further fun to be had for the children to illustrate some of the animals in 'Animal Confusion' (p.54) 'A shark with a waggy tail / A monkey with a long grey trunk...' .

I love the celebration of reading in 'Picture this' (p. 42): 'Cover your eyes and don't take a look / Imagine the stories inside the book... A bear in a scarf, a cat in a hat / An elephant patched, a Stanley that's flat /'. This offers a lovely opportunity to display the poem alongside some of the books that it features.

This is a fabulous, laugh-out -loud collection: get it immediately!

96 pages / Ages 7-10 years / Reviewed by Alison Kelly, consultant

Suggested Reading Age 7+


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