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by Jim Arnosky & illustrated by Jim Arnosky

Pub Date: March 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-439-90356-1
Publisher: Scholastic

Less well known than their alligator cousins, crocodiles live in the United States too, although not in abundance: Approximately 2,000 have been counted by airplane. In this intriguing new entry in a body of more than 100 books about the natural world, wildlife observer Arnosky describes canoeing with his wife through mangrove swamps in South Florida and seeing 20 crocodiles. Interwoven with the personal narrative is considerable information about these formidable reptiles. Detailed acrylic paintings accompany the text. Individual crocs are shown in context, with the time, weather and tide of each sighting noted. These portraits cross the gutter, separated from a column of text by a mangrove stem. Other illustrations add information, demonstrating the differences between crocodiles and alligators and identifying other inhabitants of this ecosystem. Arnosky ends with a song about his trip—words and music—that can be heard on the accompanying DVD, which also includes videos of the Arnoskys’ journeys and the artist at work. Pair this excellent introduction to the species with his new novel, The Pirates of Crocodile Swamp (2009), for a toothy treat. (Informational picture book. 7-10)