Mouse, Rabbit, and Shelly the tortoise are heading home when Mouse suggests they take a shortcut through the creepy, crooked creek to get home before dark. Rabbit nervously asks ‘Isn’t that where the crocodiles live?’ but Mouse is confident that he has never seen a crocodile here.
The three friends set off on their journey through this illustrated book, through the creek, over a lumpy bumpy bridge, scritchy scratchy thorns and swingy springy vines, it becomes obvious to readers that something is not right here. Crocodiles are hiding in plain sight!
Amongst Jonny Lambert’s lush large-scale illustrations, scary clues emerge, one after the other, with typography signalling danger all around, with even the end pages telling part of the story. Young readers will enjoy the building sense of peril and impending doom as they keep one step ahead of the trio, realising, just before they do, that crocodiles are very close indeed!
Mouse remains supremely confident of his leadership skills and knowledge, despite having just led his friends into the jaws of a crocodile and proceeds undaunted. The story ends as he, despite his friends’ concerns, insists on another short cut. Or does it? Could the clue on the last page
signal that it’s all about to begin again and nobody has learned a lesson?