FICTION
Little Doctor and the Fearless Beast
Owlkids. Mar. 2019. 32p. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781771473446.
COPY ISBN

K-Gr 2–Why is a child living alone in the jungle? How does that child understand the language of crocodiles and what they need for healing? These questions remain unknown, but readers willing to accept the mysterious premise enter a thoughtfully unique story. Little Doctor, as the crocodiles call the child, lovingly cares for the creatures who visit her cabin clinic. In return, the crocs tell her thrilling stories full of danger, escapes, and mischief. One day, however, a beast arrives at Little Doctor’s door who is bigger and more frightening than any she has seen before. The child does not know how to help Big Mean, menacingly silent and with no visible injuries. The illustrations and book design skillfully further the action of the story. In a climactic scene, Big Mean’s jaws open so wide they go from edge to edge of a spread.

VERDICT Atmospheric and quietly humorous, the story shows influences as varied as Tarzan and Where the Wild Things Are, and will appeal to fans of adventure and legends.

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