Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli, illustrated by Mariachiara di Giorgio
Reviewed by: Brian Wilson
Title: Professional Crocodile
By: Zoboli, Giovanna
Call #: JPicture Zobol.G
This hilarious nearly wordless picture book import from Italy has a twist ending so surprising I could not stop laughing. I will not spoil this surprise, but will attempt to describe what makes this delightful creation work. Presented in a graphic novel format and possessing longish dimensions perfect for a book about crocodiles, this title shows an anthropomorphized crocodile rising from bed in the morning and going through his daily ritual of picking a tie for work, enjoying a quick breakfast, and heading out for the commute. di Giorgio’s humorous yet gorgeous art is packed with amusing details (for example, one funny sequence shows the crocodile sharing an awkward elevator ride with a shy stranger) as the protagonist makes his way across a crowded cityscape. He peeks in stores, gets soaked thanks to a careless driver driving through a curb-side puddle, and ends up smooshed on a packed subway train (adults will relate to this scenario). As he heads to his final destination, we feel as if we have walked a mile in his shoes. This is the kind of book that you can look at again and again and find new details to savor. It also emerges as a surprisingly indelible character study. Fans of Bernard Waber’s Lyle books will find another crocodile to cheer. Those who like funny books, wordless books, and/or picture books starring affable animal characters will love this book.