A book with a lot of heart: Check out our review for A Crocodile in the Family by Kitty Black and Daron Parton

A book with a lot of heart: Check out our review for A Crocodile in the Family by Kitty Black and Daron Parton

A family of little birds discovers a lonely egg, so they take it home and look after it. When the egg cracks, out pops a tiny green crocodile! Croccy grows to be a very helpful, beautiful and amusing family member even though he is distinctly different in every possible way to the rest of the family. 

Croccy is endearing and charming. He is gentle, patient and kind. He has unique skills and talents that benefit the family and the community. Yet none of the other bush animals can understand why the birds keep him, especially when he grows to be enormous. The answer, however, is very simple. 

Author Kitty Black draws on her experience of being part of a neuro-diverse family and their relationship with society. Kitty explains: “Through this book, I hoped to showcase a lesser-seen perspective of diverse families, that of us thriving and being happy and enjoying the unique characteristics of our children.” 

Kitty also shows the societal expectations and demands that are frequently experienced by diverse families. The repeated questions “but why do you keep him?” builds the tension to the ultimate answer. Inspired by love in all its different forms, and families in all their different shapes and size, this is a delicate story told in a robust and straightforward way. 

Illustrator Daron Parton is a keen bird watcher and it was his idea to create Croccy’s family as birds, and they perfectly suit the story. Birds must surely be the most diverse group of creatures on the planet: from the littlest wren to the largest cockatoo. His brightly coloured digital artwork captures the individuality of the Aussie bush creatures and their quirky personalities. Look for the lifeguard platypus – very sweet! There is detail in the illustrations that brings humour to the story and provides an extra narrative to be explored. 

Suitable for children 4+. It is also a perfect resource to use with older children to explore diversity, particularly societal expectations and the perceived value of individuals in a family or other group. 

Comprehensive teachers notes and activity sheets are available, making an excellent package for educators and parents to spark conversations and anticipate questions and conversations. Possible applications include adoption, newcomers to the school community from diverse backgrounds, physical abilities, neurodiversity or any other situation where an individual is different to the perceived norm. 

 

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Synopsis

A charming, warm-hearted picture book about a family of birds who take home an egg and, even though the crocodile that hatches from it doesn't look or act like the rest of the family, he belongs.A family of birds stumble across an egg in the bush and take it home with them. The family are thrilled when a little crocodile hatches from the egg, but the other animals are a little confused.'Why do you keep him?' they ask. 'Is it because he's helpful?''He is helpful,' replies the family, 'but that's not why we keep him.'As Croccy gets bigger, the bush animals become more confused. 'Is it because he's beautiful? Is it because he's fun? Is it because he makes a great coat rack? Is that it? Is that why you keep him?'Croccy is beautiful, and he is fun, and he does make a great coat rack. But that's not why the family keep him. They keep Croccy because he belongs with them. And that's that.A Crocodile in the Family is a beautiful picture book with a whole lot of heart about family in all its shapes and sizes. It's the perfect bedtime read for kids aged 3+.
Daron Parton
About the author

Daron Parton

Award-winning New Zealand illustrator Daron Parton was born in the UK, married a Kiwi and moved to New Zealand in 1995. He has been working as an illustrator since 1990 and is also an illustration tutor at Auckland University of Technology. Daron's books include The Ultimate Survival Guide to Monsters Under Your Bed and A Crocodile in the Family.

Books by Daron Parton

Kitty Black
About the author

Kitty Black

Kitty Black is a children's author living in Perth, Western Australia. Kitty has a background in psychology and education, this taught her the importance of stories. She lives with her husband and two children who are excellent at providing both inspiration and noise, although rarely in equal amounts. A Crocodile in the Family is Kitty's first picture book to be published with Hachette Australia.

Books by Kitty Black

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