Books & Literature

Book Review: Chomp Goes the Crocodile, by Matthew Van Fleet

An interactive and sensory book for children ranging from birth to age six.

Chomp! Chomp! Chomp! This crocodile might just eat all the animals!

Matthew Van Fleet has written and illustrated a beautiful board book suitable for young readers from birth to 6. He has been writing books with the basic concepts of colours, shapes, numbers, letters and opposites for over 20 years and he certainly has got the formula right with this one. The basic concepts introduced in this book are colours, numerals up to 10, and animals. It is full of learning, has a lovely story, and interesting, eye-catching illustrations.

Chomp Goes the Crocodile is about a hungry little crocodile who swallows all the animals it can see. As we go through the book, there is a small hole with a textured piece of material on each page. The child is encouraged with a few word clues and the texture and colour of the material to try and guess what animal is coming up next.

The number of animals goes up to ten and each number is clearly written on each page. The colours are vibrant, and the textures of the material are great for young children to touch.

The front cover has a see-through window showing the crocodile and a big bite out of the side.

The illustrations are clear and appealing. It also has enough detail to keep an older child interested by searching for clues and extra things in each picture. As the story goes on, the crocodile gets bigger and bigger until a surprise ending. The children can also move his mouth as he chomps, with a slide on the side of the book.

There is plenty to talk about as you move through the story. The changes in the crocodile and what the animals are doing could create an interesting discussion.

The popup at the end invites children to go back through the book and count the insects. Always a lot of fun.

This is a delightful book that I am sure would keep any toddler busy for a while.

Thankfully it is also quite robust. Too many times, a pop up or interactive book is made from paper and easy to tear but being a board book, this may even last till the next generation of readers. And they will love it too!

Reviewed by Sue Mauger

Distributed by: Simon & Schuster Australia
Released: October 2018
RRP: $29.99

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