Sunday, 4 May 2014

Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile by Bernard Waber

While I was thinking about collections of stories yesterday, this popped into my head. We all loved Ira Sleeps Over here, so I ordered this on the strength of that.

Lyle, Lyle Crocodile Storybook Treasury is a hardcover collection of Lyle, Lyle Crocodile, The House On East 88th Street, Lyle and the Birthday Party and Lyle Walks the Dogs. The last one is more of a toddler story and is illustrated by Bernard Wabers' daughter, Paulis. I thought at first it was just going to be a vehicle for the father to introduce his daughters work but no, its lovely. My three year old asks for it regularly.

The other stories must be well known to readers across the pond but Lyle was new to me. There's a good bit of reading in them - so for ages four to six they're a perfect, substantial read-aloud. One is more than enough for bedtime as they're not short. Like the Curious George stories I mentioned yesterday these just make me think childrens' attention spans must be getting shorter as stories written in the 40's, like George and 60's, like most of these seem way longer than lots written now. 

Anyway, this is where Lyle lives. Its on East 88th Street. Doesn't it make you want to go to New York? Or at least watch You've Got Mail?

It all begins when the Primm family move in. Alarmed on hearing a noise coming from the bathroom, they investigate. And find Lyle in the bath. What to do?

 He comes down the stairs to see them. Help!

 But really, there's nothing to panic about. Lyle is just such a nice guy.

 He helps around the house.

 Joins in socially.

 And keeps himself very clean. He loves baths!

 He doesn't mind if he's "on" in games. (or "it" as they say in the States.)

 How could you not love such a friendly guy?

 In Lyle and the Birthday Party, he does have a bit of a sulk.

 How does Bernard Waber draw a sulking crocodile? Aren't these pictures perfect?

 But behaving like that is so out of character, the Primms think he must be sick. And off he goes to hospital.

 Where, like all of us, he wonders why he is woken so early!

 But soon he is back to his cheerful, helpful self.

 And the Primms, realising that he may have been a bit miffed at not having a party of his own, throw him one. Because he deserves it. Because everybody loves Lyle.

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