Book review: After a While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary, by Brady Barr and Jennifer Keats Curtis, illustrated by Susan Detwiler

Barr, Brady and Jennifer Keats Curtis. After a while crocodile: Alexa’s diary. Illustrated by Susan Detwiler. Arbordale Publishing, 2016. unp. $9.95 ISBN:9781628558357. Gr. 2+.  P8 Q8

barr-after-a-while-crocodileThere is a note at the front of the book which reads “The book is a fictional portrayal of a real program that allowed Costa Rican schoolchildren to raise American crocodiles in their classroom.” The program was a conservation and educational program for the rural students of Costa Rico. The book is illustrated with both photographs of a village in Costa Rico and colored drawings. Alexa is a student who names her croc Jefe and who writes a diary to keep facts and details of her time with Jefe. The text uses both English and Spanish words which gives the story more of an ethnic flavor of Costa Rico. While the book is fiction there are many facts about crocodiles that can be found. The book’s end matter includes additional information about crocodile conservation and Dr. Brady Barr the founder of the crocodile conservation program.

Verdict: What a great way to introduce conservation and how to record facts when an investigation is taking place.

November 2016 review by Carol Bernardi.

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