Park School librarian Laura Schlitz is no stranger to children’s literature—and not just because she routinely recommends and reads books to the students at Park. The esteemed author of eight published children’s books, one of them a Newbery recipient, just released her latest book, “Princess Cora and the Crocodile” (Candlewick Press), sure to be a hit among young readers.
The book’s heroine, Princess Cora, is sick of boring lessons and princess activities. She writes to her fairy godmother for help and, to her surprise, assistance comes in the form of a crocodile that doesn’t behave properly. While the crocodile injects great fun and fantasy into the story, it’s the relationship between Cora and her helicopter-esque parents that makes the book come alive. Schlitz says her lifelong love of crocodiles (she claims to have been sleeping with a stuffed one for 55 years) and a dearth of picture books presenting the tensions of the parent–child dynamic formed the fodder for her latest book’s plot, which moves swiftly and offers plenty of giggles.
Rounding out the book are the wonderful illustrations of Caldecott medalist Brian Floca, which complement but don’t overwhelm the story. “If an experience can be both joyful and slightly eerie, it was amazing how he’d see what was in my head,” Schlitz says of the illustrator.
Pick up a copy of the book at your local library or bookstore today.