by Dianne Stewart. Illustrated by Joan Rankin (Jacana) ISBN 9781431424139
What’s a crocodile with toothache to do, when he can’t get an appointment with a dentist?
His friends take him to see Dr Molar, the lion, after hours – but Lyle doesn’t like the look of the equipment, and leaves with only a caution to clean his teeth to avoid decay. His bad breath gets worse and worse, until nature comes to the rescue in the form of Pippa, the Plover.
Based on the myth that the Nile crocodile and the Egyptian Plover have a close relationship, it’s a tale intended for children, to encourage them to look after their teeth. But I found the illustrations of the dentist and his tools scary rather than amusing, as I think they were intended to be. (Childhood dentist phobia is strong with me!)
However, award-winning illustrator Joan Rankin’s clever watercolours are quirky and interesting. If you can laugh at Lyle the Crocodile’s silly fears, you’ll enjoy reading this story with young readers.