Little Croc’s Purse by Lizzie Finlay
This little morality story features Little Croc who found a purse one day. He had to decide if he was going to return the purse with its money or keep it all for himself. He decides to return the purse, but on his way to the police station, he meets with several temptations. He manages to avoid spending any of the money and once he’s at the police station finds out that the woman who owns the purse wants to meet him. When she arrives, she checks for a special locket in a hidden pocket and then leaves the entire purse and the money for Little Croc. Little Croc doesn’t spend it all in one place either, leading to a very satisfying conclusion to this book.
Finlay manages to make not only a morality tale, but a picture book that works as a story as well. While there is definitely a moral about honesty here, the story is about more than that. Her writing is light-toned and even the moment with the bully is brief and easily handled. This helps lift the tone of the entire book.
Her whimsical illustrations also do that with a tiny crocodile lugging a very large, very flowery, rather pink purse. Even better, when Little Croc does buy something for himself, it is a pair of very red boots. He also never shrinks away from carrying the purse and owning it as his own after it has been given to him.
A book about honesty, thoughtfulness and caring for others, this book is sweet and jolly. Keep it in mind for parents looking for books about manners and honesty for preschoolers. Appropriate for ages 4-6.
Reviewed from copy received from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.