As the cover illustration makes clear, Crocodile Bread is neither bread made of crocodiles nor is it bread made for crocodiles. It is bread made in the shape of a crocodile.
The book’s narrator is 10-year-old Fransisca who lives in a compound in Nima, Ghana, with “my mother and father, one brother, four sisters, two cousins, three aunties, two uncles and my grandmother. We also have five cats and two goats. Our compound is a busy place!”
The key player is Fransisca’s grandmother, Agnes Amoah, who is a local “commercial” baker who, with her workers, normally makes bread and rolls, but who, today, is also making a special loaf of crocodile bread. Through the text and full-page colour photographs, readers follow this overnight bread making process which concludes with Fransisca, along her siblings and some friends, happily devouring the delicious crocodile.
Despite the book’s foreign setting, young readers will be intrigued by this special treat and will undoubtedly ask their parents to make a loaf of crocodile bread. As well, the contents of Crocodile Bread have social studies curricular applications. Via an e-mail to me, Kathy said that, if you want to try making your own crocodile bread, any bread recipe you have will likely work, but she will be posting one to the OSU website.
Dave Jenkinson, CM‘s editor, lives in Winnipeg, MB.