Like Not, Now Bernard and I’m Coming to Get You, this picture book has a repetitive refrain: ‘I really want to eat a child’. This line is outrageous and it will get children asking: ‘Does the crocodile really say that?’ For little Achilles the crocodile, ‘I really want to eat a child!’ is a fixation. No amount of bananas or cake will keep him from this wish.
Like all great picture books that build up one idea, there comes a point where the story changes direction. In this case little Achilles meets a real child and the book presents us with a final joke.
All this is accompanied by de Monfreid’s building up of the story through illustration, using the two halves of the double page spread to present Achilles’ ongoing debate with his parents. She uses confident black line and bright colours set against the white open space of the page. Great fun, and an obvious read aloud.