Thank you to Leslie Stillings, Director of Youth Services at the Pottstown Regional Library, for this book review.
Written and Illustrated by Catherine Rayner
With wide earnest eyes and a great big grin, Solomon Crocodile unabashedly crashes through this story looking for a playmate. Poor Solomon’s carefree and bold playfulness is met with reproach; he is called a ‘pain,’ ‘pest,’ and ‘nuisance.’ Eventually, crushed by all the unkind comments, Solomon sits sad and alone in the reeds until a rustling is heard in the brush and an eye appears from behind a leaf. Who could this be?
Through lovely paint and silk screen illustrations, author and illustrator, Catherine Rayner, creates a lush and light-hearted atmosphere. The open spaces on the pages do not overwhelm the story, but mirror Solomon’s spirit and draws your attention to his expressive face. Rayner’s deft hand blends language and pictures seamlessly to captures Solomon’s restlessness. Solomon is the most vibrantly drawn character with dots and splashes all over his body, giving him a sense of constant movement compared to the other more muted, yet beautifully illustrated animals.
Adults will remember free spirited days running through their neighborhoods looking for fun and children will love watching Solomon stomp through the riverbed, living life as it should be, with hopeful abandon.