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Did you know crocodiles lay eggs? Did you that crocodiles make nests? Did you know that although they have terrific power in their jaws, that the muscles that open their mouths are much weaker? Akimbo learned these facts and more as the Crocodile man, called John came to stay with him and his parents in Africa, where his father is the chief ranger. This is a book for children around 8 or 9 years old, but you could read to younger ones providing they don't get too scared! I'm a good bit older and still enjoyed it! Akimbo is a young boy who loves to be with animals, and wants to help like an adult, he takes part in tagging the mother crocodile and babies, so they can see how many survive through the year. Although his parents don't like the sound of being with crocodiles Akimbo is fascinated. He gets put to the test when he has to cross a crocodile infested, fast flowing river, after John has been attacked and their inflatable dinghy demolished. He has to drive the truck to get help and is later rewarded with a book all about crocodiles. The book has lots of lovely black and white pen drawings by Peter Bailey, you can almost hear the crocodile thrashing about, you can see Akimbo sitting bored on the doorstep when he sees the dust of their visitor's truck approaching. I like the pictures as it helps younger readers get the feel of the story. Alexander McCall Smith is the author of over sixty books, now living in Edinburgh which is how my husband heard about him after an interview on local radio. He was born in Zimbabwe, but lived most of his life in Scotland. In 1999 he achieved global recognition for his award winning No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. This is the second book in a collection about Akimbo that my husband received at Christmas, the giver had ordered on the internet and hadn't realised that they were for children, her Dad was quite happy to keep them though. Only 86 pages but full of excitement and some facts, a good buy at £3.99 or even cheaper if you look around.
When Akimbo is offered the chance to help tag baby crocodiles, he is very excited. John the Crocodile man wants to keep an eye on the latest batch of crocodiles, and Akimbo is keen to learn more about the dangerous creatures. Then John is attacked by an angry croc, and Akimbo has to use all his courage to save him! Join Akimbo's latest adventure, by best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith.