We love playing jokes, as do Solomon and Mortimer. But jokes don’t always go to plan which is what happens in this story when two bored little crocodiles decide to surprise a hippo!
The Story: Solomon and Mortimer are bored and looking for some action! Various activities fail to excite them until the two crocodiles crawl down to the river where Solomon comes up with a plan to surprise Hippo. However, Hippo is one step ahead of them and ultimately it is Solomon and Mortimer who are most surprised!
These two cheeky little crocodiles and their antics make us laugh, they’re like ‘crocodile toddlers’ who are determined to get into as much mischief as possible! Unfortunately for them, pelicans, butterflies and an old toad alert Hippo to their presence which enables him to come up with a plan of his own that surprises everyone and creates a lot of laughter.
We are in awe of authors who can tell such a great story in so few words and in this picture book every word counts. The short sentences and the alliteration make it a great story to read aloud, we especially like ‘…cautious crocodiles creep closer….’ Catherine Rayner’s watercolour illustrations are beautiful and very amusing, we love the picture of Solomon and Mortimer trying to climb trees and on several spreads they have particularly mischievous expressions! The story is told on double page spreads and the natural, earthy colours perfectly complement the story’s river setting, we love the spread with the red sky and the way that the colours of the two crocodiles differ to make them easily recognisable in each spread.
This is a beautifully illustrated, feelgood story and Solomon and Mortimer’s antics make us laugh. Their complete obliviousness to Hippo’s plan adds to the humour and ensures that we as readers also play a part in Hippo’s surprise.
Age Range: 3 +
Author / Illustrator: Catherine Rayner