The most recommended crocodile books

Who picked these books? Meet our 15 experts.

15 authors created a book list connected to crocodiles, and here are their favorite crocodile books.
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Book cover of Hook's Tale: Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself

Gwyn McNamee Author Of Squall Line

From my list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a criminal defense attorney, mom, and wife who grew up along Lake Michigan in Wisconsin and lived there for 35 years, staring out at the vast water of the “Inland Seas” aka The Great Lakes. Intrigued by pirates, the criminals of the water, and the stories of pirates roaming the lakes, when I began writing fiction, I absolutely had to write a modern pirate series set in the area where I grew up. I’ve read dozens and dozens of historical non-fiction books about pirates, watched all the classic films and shows about them, and have read pirate romances my entire life, so writing my own was the next logical step.

Gwyn's book list on fulfilling your pirate fantasies

Gwyn McNamee Why did Gwyn love this book?

Growing up, I was always more intrigued by Captain Hook, the villain of Peter Pan, more so than I was the title character. John Leonard Pielmeier writes an incredible “memoir” from the most famous fictional pirate and uses the beloved characters from the Peter Pan story of our childhoods in a whole new way. The backstory with Smee, the conflict with the infamous crocodile, and all the major things we see in the classic story are told in a whole new way. I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend reading in tandem with the original Peter Pan for a fun way to see two sides to a story.

By John Leonard Pielmeier,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hook's Tale as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A rollicking debut novel from award-winning playwright and screenwriter John Pielmeier reimagines the childhood of the much maligned Captain Hook: his quest for buried treasure, his friendship with Peter Pan, and the story behind the swashbuckling world of Neverland.

Long defamed as a vicious pirate, Captain James Cook (a.k.a Hook) was in fact a dazzling wordsmith who left behind a vibrant, wildly entertaining, and entirely truthful memoir. His chronicle offers a counter narrative to the works of J.M. Barrie, a "dour Scotsman" whose spurious accounts got it all wrong. Now, award-winning playwright John Pielmeier is proud to present this crucial…

Book cover of Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems & Drawings

Deborah Clark Vance Author Of Sylvie Denied

From Deborah's 10-year-old's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Family woman Retired professor Truth seeker Gardener & environmentalist

Deborah's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Plus, Deborah's 10-year-old's favorite books.

Deborah Clark Vance Why did Deborah's 10-year-old love this book?

It’s a book of funny poems. The one my granddaughter likes best is called “Sick”, when a girl names all the things that she’s pretending to be sick, making up all kinds of things that are wrong with her so she won’t have to go to school. But then her mom tells her it’s Saturday and there’s no school. That made my granddaughter laugh. She also likes how the poem rhymes.

By Shel Silverstein,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Where the Sidewalk Ends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 4, 5, 6, and 7.

What is this book about?

Shel Silverstein, the New York Times bestselling author of The Giving Tree, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and Every Thing On It, has created a poetry collection that is outrageously funny and deeply profound. Come in...for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein's world begins. This special edition contains 12 extra poems. You'll meet a boy who turns into a TV set, and a girl who eats a whale. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow…

Book cover of Reptiles for Kids: A Junior Scientist's Guide to Lizards, Amphibians, and Cold-Blooded Creatures

Deb Aronson Author Of Reptiles: King Cobras

From my list on misunderstood or weird creatures for children.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been a non-fiction writer my entire career and I love learning new things and then sharing them with readers in an approachable and engaging way, as these books do. These books encourage curiosity and that kind of “Oh! I didn’t know that!” response, which can spark a young reader to dig deeper and even share their new knowledge with others.

Deb's book list on misunderstood or weird creatures for children

Deb Aronson Why did Deb love this book?

This book covers a broader range of creatures. I find it an outstanding introduction to reptiles, because each chapter discusses a different reptile group—snakes, lizards, turtles and tortoises, crocodiles and alligators, and, lastly, amphibians.

The material is clearly organized and includes a general description of the animal type, their anatomy, their diet, and then, a separate section on reptiles (or snakes etc.) at home that gives the young reader a way to learn more about a specific creature that is safe for them to explore and even keep as a pet.

By Michael G Starkey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Reptiles for Kids as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 6, 7, 8, and 9.

What is this book about?

Explore the fascinating world of reptiles with the Junior Scientists series for kids ages 6 to 9

Big and small. Cute and dangerous. Covered in spikes, scales, and bony plates! Reptiles for Kids is filled with fun facts and amazing photos of slithering snakes and lizards, tough turtles and tortoises, creepy crocodiles and alligators, and some awesome amphibians. These ancient animals come in all sizes, shapes, and colors, from the weird to the wonderful and everything in between.

Learn how a tadpole becomes a frog, what a crocodile likes to eat (and how it catches its prey!), and which gecko…

Book cover of The Crystal World

Darragh McManus Author Of Shiver The Whole Night Through

From my list on where the forest feels like a character.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m an Irish author who lives close to three very different forests: deciduous, planted coniferous, and the planned gardens of a former stately home that once welcomed WB Yeats and several other famous writers. I’ve always loved the woods – it often feels like stepping through a portal into some other, stranger parallel world – and drew huge inspiration from these places for Shiver the Whole Night Through. I wanted the forest to feel like a character, which was sentient and had agency. I incorporated several real-life locations into the fictional Shook Woods…and wrote a lot of the story in the forest, gazing into the dark trees, waiting for them to speak. 

Darragh's book list on where the forest feels like a character

Darragh McManus Why did Darragh love this book?

A tropical forest in Africa is the epicentre of a bizarre and very troubling phenomenon. Through a sort of “leak” in space-time, everything is slowly turning to crystal, and this “disease” will eventually seep out into the rest of the world. An English doctor goes on an Apocalypse Now-style journey into the forest to try and understand. Ballard’s sci-fi classic is as weird and thought-provoking as always, and the forest itself is a palpable presence throughout. 

By J.G. Ballard,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Crystal World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From J. G. Ballard, author of 'Crash' and 'Cocaine Nights' comes his extraordinary vision of an African forest that turns all in its path to crystal.

Through a 'leaking' of time, the West African jungle starts to crystallize. Trees metamorphose into enormous jewels. Crocodiles encased in second glittering skins lurch down the river. Pythons with huge blind gemstone eyes rear in heraldic poses. Most flee the area in terror, afraid to face a catastrophe they cannot understand.

But some, dazzled and strangely entranced, remain to drift through this dreamworld forest: a doctor in pursuit of his ex-mistress, an enigmatic Jesuit…

Book cover of Professional Crocodile

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Author Of This Is Not My Home

From my list on making you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Why am I passionate about this?

We’re picture book lovers and best friends that met in college at Washington University in St. Louis. Our friendship started out with long telephone conversations during the pandemic, and have now blossomed into a picture book partnership where we hope to write books that make people feel warm and fuzzy through the universality of the human experience. Vivienne is still currently a student at WashU, but will move to New York post-graduation. Eugenia has since graduated and is currently a designer in the children’s department at Chronicle Books in the Bay Area.

Vivienne's book list on making you feel warm and fuzzy inside

Eugenia Yoh & Vivienne Chang Why did Vivienne love this book?

This heartwarming watercolored picture book follows a crocodile as he sets off into the great metropolis for his morning commute. With no words at all, this book expertly shows the bustling, dynamic city life with both human and animal inhabitants. Each page is compositionally unique, and it is a masterclass in pacing and paneling. Despite the urban landscapes, the illustrations are rendered in a way that feels like a breath of fresh air. And best of all, the last page will make you want to revisit the entire book from beginning to end.

By Giovanna Zoboli, Mariachiara Di Giorgio (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Professional Crocodile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Mr. Crocodile loves his job. Every morning he gets up with an alarm. He brushes his teeth. He chooses the right tie to match his outfit, eats a quick slice of toast, and heads off to work on a crowded train. But what is his job? The answer may surprise you. Readers will want to pore over this witty, wordless book again and again, finding new details and new stories with every reading.

Book cover of Clear to the Horizon

Sherryl Clark Author Of Mad, Bad and Dead

From my list on Australian crime to have you on the edge of your seat.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started reading crime fiction as a teenager, so maybe it was inevitable that one day I would start writing it. I began with short stories, but then found an idea for a novel that wouldn’t let me go. One small paragraph about a tape recording left by a dead man. The books I love reading now are often set in small towns and communities, like the one I grew up in, where normal people tend to hide the worst secrets! Hidden motivations and seeing how the past plays out in the present are two elements I love in crime fiction—they help to work out who the killer is.

Sherryl's book list on Australian crime to have you on the edge of your seat

Sherryl Clark Why did Sherryl love this book?

I’ve never been to Broome in northwest Australia, but it’s renowned for the heat, the flies, and the beaches—but look out for crocodiles. I enjoyed Warner’s previous novel based on a series of murders in Perth in the 90s that, back then, had never been solved, so it was great to see his two detectives get together on a case that eventually circles back to the Perth killings. There’s something about the past catching up with us that I enjoy as a plot and character strength, and this book moves between past and present really effectively. The landscape is so barren that it’s almost like being on another planet!

By Dave Warner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Clear to the Horizon as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1999, a number of young women go missing in the Perth suburb of Claremont. One body is discovered. Others are never seen again. Snowy Lane (City of Light) is hired as a private investigator but neither he nor the cops can find the serial killer. Sixteen years later, another case brings Snowy to Broome, where he teams up with Dan Clement (Before It Breaks) and an incidental crime puts them back on the Claremont case. Clear to the Horizon is a nail-biting Aussie-style thriller, based on one of the great unsolved crimes in Western Australia's recent history. Its twists…

Book cover of Beatrice and Croc Harry

Michelle Mulder Author Of After Peaches

From my list on kids’ stories about speaking up.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a kid, I rarely spoke up, and I certainly didn’t think I had much influence. As a young adult, though, I came across true stories of kids who stood up for what they believed in. These kids inspired many of my own books, and now whenever I’m looking for something to read, I look for novels about kids who screw up their courage to speak up for a fairer, more inclusive, richer world.

Michelle's book list on kids’ stories about speaking up

Michelle Mulder Why did Michelle love this book?

You know those books with characters so real that, when you’re not reading, you miss them and wonder what they’re up to? That’s what happened to me with Beatrice and Croc Harry. I didn’t think I liked stories involving talking animals, but wow, was I wrong. This book taught me that serious books can also be delightfully whimsical and funny. This novel is one of the best books I’ve read on hatred and racism, forgiveness, and love.

By Lawrence Hill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Beatrice and Croc Harry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of Canada’s most celebrated author’s debut novel for young readers

Beatrice, a young girl of uncertain age, wakes up all alone in a tree house in the forest. How did she arrive in this cozy dwelling, stocked carefully with bookshelves and oatmeal accoutrements? And who has been leaving a trail of clues, composed in delicate purple handwriting?

So begins the adventure of a brave and resilient Black girl’s search for identity and healing in bestselling author Lawrence Hill’s middle-grade debut. Though Beatrice cannot recall how or why she arrived in the magical forest of Argilia—where every conceivable fish, bird,…

Book cover of Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook

Bronwyn Eley Author Of Relic

From my list on fantasy for those who live in the dark.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been writing since before I can remember and my stories always edge towards darkness. If darkness is a cliff-face, I stand precariously on the edge, taking my readers with me and maybe… eventually… giving them a little shove. Sorry, not sorry. As a writer of dark YA fantasy, it is both my duty and privilege to read as many dark fantasy stories as possible. My series, The Relic Trilogy, isn’t all sunshine and happiness. Whenever I see a review where the reader admits they ended up in a puddle of their own tears, I celebrate because that is precisely what I’m here for folks. 

Bronwyn's book list on fantasy for those who live in the dark

Bronwyn Eley Why did Bronwyn love this book?

I will unashamedly tell anyone I meet that I am obsessed with Peter Pan. I wished I’d written it myself and will one day write a retelling. Because, honestly, sometimes the retelling is better. When Peter is darker, when Neverland is madness… or more so than it already is.

Lost Boy was not what I expected. The ending got me hard and I’m completely obsessed with this book. I don’t even want to explain anymore. Just please read it. 

Most of us are familiar with the original story thanks to the cartoon movie, but if you haven’t yet read the original book, I highly recommend that because it is a lot darker than you might think. I remember being blown away by it when I finally read it as an adult. 

And then you can go on an obsessive read-a-thon of all retellings, starting with the magnificent Lost Boy

By Christina Henry,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Lost Boy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is one version of my story that everyone knows. And then there is the truth. Once I loved a boy called Peter Pan.

Peter brought me to his island because there were no rules and no grownups to make us mind. He brought boys from the Other Place to join in the fun, but Peter's idea of fun is sharper than a pirate's sword. He wants always to be that shining sun that we all revolve around. He'll do anything to be that sun. Peter promised we would all be young and happy forever.

Peter will say I'm a…

Book cover of The Paper Dolls

Rachel Rose Author Of Creating Stillness: Mindful Art Practices and Stories for Navigating Anxiety, Stress, and Fear

From my list on helping you know through creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been making messes with paint, string, and words, as well as in love, mothering, and in virtually every other way imaginable my whole life. Eventually, an expertise began to grow, and the confusion in my life began to make sense through my creations, while at the same time, the seemingly irrelevant words and textures I was making started to tell me something about my life. Eventually, my lived experience and training in the Expressive Arts Therapies have led me to the roles of teacher, educator, and contemplative artist. If we pay attention to what we express and how we express things, we can find our way through any mess we find ourselves in.

Rachel's book list on helping you know through creativity

Rachel Rose Why did Rachel love this book?

I always seek to immerse myself in creative works like film, fiction, and music, and as a mother of three young children, I have now added children's books to this list.

The magic and simplicity of bringing together poetic voice and imagery in picture books have shown me the alchemy of weaving together mediums to convey emotion and meaning in a simple and powerful way.

Of the thousands of children’s books I have read (seriously!) this one struck me as a gem, exploring the vulnerability and enchanting realm of childhood, a place where creativity once roamed free within us.

This simple story of a mother and daughter and the beauty of the imagination and memory as one ages feels like an invitation made just for me asking me to reignite the spark of expression without all the added weight of adulthood.

By Julia Donaldson, Rebecca Cobb (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Paper Dolls as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 3, 4, and 5.

What is this book about?

The Paper Dolls is a stunning, lyrical story of childhood, memory and the power of imagination from Julia Donaldson, the author of The Gruffalo, and award-winning illustrator Rebecca Cobb.

A string of paper dolls go on a fantastical adventure through the house and out into the garden. They soon escape the clutches of the toy dinosaur and the snapping jaws of the oven-glove crocodile, but then a very real pair of scissors threatens . . .

The Paper Dolls is a beautiful and evocative story from Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb, the bestselling creators of The Everywhere Bear.