Booklist Reviews

The story is as old as time. Crocodile meets watermelon. Crocodile adores watermelon. Crocodile eats watermelon. Crocodile inadvertently swallows seed. Crocodile frets and worries and engages in histrionic apoplexy at certain I'm-gonna-turn-into-a-watermelon fate. Crocodile burps, expelling seed. Crocodile vows never to eat watermelon again. And the cycle repeats itself, presumably in perpetuity. With a sharp graphic sensibility, vibrant design, and adept characterization, Pizzoli spins the simple premise into a sweet confection, ripe with broad humor. Working in watermelon pink, apple green, and crisp black, blocked on buff stock, the artist manipulates his high-contrast palette to maximum effect. In his first-person rant, the crocodile pushes at the fourth wall, not quite breaking it, and certainly owes something to Mo Willems' titular pigeon in attitude and affect. But he is his own crocodile, with his own neurosis, and is sure to win his own fans and repeat readings. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews

A watermelon-loving crocodile imagines the worst after swallowing a seed: "it's growing in my guts! Soon vines will come out of my ears!" After much fretting, the croc burps and brings the seed back up. Crisis over...until the next bite. The silly story is refreshingly simple, and Pizzoli's tempting melon-green and -red illustrations are hard to resist.

Kirkus Reviews

A watermelon-loving crocodile worries over a swallowed seed in this balmy tale. Juicy endpapers of watermelon pink draw readers into this playful tale about a crocodile and his favorite fruit. Oh, how this friendly little croc adores his watermelon. But when he accidentally eats a seed, it's an emergency! The silly reptile frantically envisions the consequences of growing a melon inside one's belly, until his stomach responds. With a large belch, the seed is dislodged, and the croc happily swears off watermelon—until the next delectable slice. The illustrations, done in a graphic, flat-color style with simple linework, recall the cheerful stylings of Ed Emberley and Roger Hargreaves. While Pizzoli uses the computer to arrange his compositions, he takes extra care to hand print the pieces. Done in a three-color printing, the silk screen offers a toothiness to the page, giving fruit, animal and emotions more substance. However, the ingenuity of Pizzoli's work is in the making of the images, rather than in the story itself, which is about as substantial as, well, a piece of watermelon. A humorous vignette with deliciously bright colors that leap from the page. (Picture book. 3-5) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Library Media Connection

Did you ever wonder what would happen if you swallowed a watermelon seed? The protagonist in this debut picture book wonders, and shares both his love for watermelon and his untimely swallowing of a seed. Through the eyes of a young crocodile the childhood concepts of a seed growing inside oneself are brought to life. Using simple language and limited words per sentence, this book can be read aloud or used as a beginning reading book. Sound effects, illustrations, and questions abound, making it a wonderful book for interactive reading. The use of only three colors in the illustrations makes them eye-catching and simplistic, drawing the reader in without overwhelming the visual senses. Sara Rofofsky Marcus, Contributing Faculty, Walden University, Minneapolis, Minnesota. RECOMMENDED Copyright 2012 Linworth Publishing, Inc.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Classic kid fear: accidentally swallow a watermelon seed, and the result will be a botanical version of what the zombie virus does to folks in The Walking Dead: vines will come out of your ears, and pretty soon you'll turn pink and wind up a morsel in someone else's fruit salad. In this first book from Pizzoli, the goal isn't to assuage readers' fears, but he does defuse them with help from an adorable bug-eyed crocodile who's hooked on watermelon ("Ever since I was a teeny, tiny baby crocodile, it's been my favorite. CHOMP! SLURP! CHOMP!"). Pizzoli's ostensibly simple cartooning is actually quite clever: he plays with framing and scale to gently spoof the crocodile's horror-movie imaginings ("It's growing in my guts!"), while the limited but luscious palette (watermelon pink and green, of course) and a subtly pulpy texture make each spread good enough to eat. It's an expert debut, and one with a valuable lesson, to boot: a hearty burp can brighten even the darkest hour. Ages 3–5. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)

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School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 1—Children will love this hilarious book. Crocodile has devoured watermelon since babyhood and eats it every chance he gets. One day, however, he swallows a seed. This sends him into a panic. Will it grow inside him and come out of his ears? Will he grow larger and turn pink? The poor crocodile is so worried until he burps up the seed. He vows to never eat watermelon again, but will he be able to resist? The illustrations of the reptile's fear about what might happen to him are very funny and the oversize font on those pages reinforces the emotion in the story. The artwork was created by screen print in pink, green, black, and brown. This simplicity allows readers to fully appreciate the changes in the croc's facial expressions, which artfully contribute to the humor. The story has broad appeal, making it a great first purchase.—Amy Shepherd, St. Anne's Episcopal School, Middleton, DE

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