After A While Crocodile

School Library Journal - September 2016

"Readers follow Alexa, a young girl from Costa Rica, as she nurtures and cares for a baby crocodile named Jefe. The book is formatted like a diary, with each spread beginning a new day and a new learning opportunity for Alexa. In addition to detailing her daily tasks (feeding Jefe pieces of chicken, measuring his growth, and tracking his development), the narrative incorporates general information on crocodiles. Readers will learn of the differences among alligators, caimans, and crocodiles. A number of Spanish words (with their English translations directly following in parentheses) appear throughout the work. An introductory note explains that Alexa's story is a fictionalized portrayal of a real program in Costa Rica that allows young students to temporarily care for a baby crocodile. With a mixture of photographs and retro-style illustrations, this enlightening offering will entertain and educate readers. Moreover, the large font allows for this title to be used as a read-aloud in a classroom environment. The authors stress the importance of safety and learning to live peacefully with our crocodile neighbors. VERDICT Purchase to complement elementary science curricula on reptiles."
- Kathia Ibacache, Simi Valley Public Library, CA

Horn Book Guide - October 2017

. This accessible diary, in English with occasional Spanish words and translations, gives a fictionalized account of schoolchildren's hands-on study of American crocodiles in Costa Rica. Alexa records the progress of a baby croc from its hatching to its release in the wild.

The Old School House Magazine - December 2016

If you are looking for a fun, simple way of adding in some learning with a fun picture book, this is one of the best we have found. We were able to use this with our 5, 8 and 16 year olds. While the 16-year-old thought it was too easy, he has just as excited to hop in with the extras and we added in an extra paper to go with this for him. This was a fun addition to our morning time routine and a great way to add some simple science into the youngest ones’ school day without adding in too much “work”.

Archimedes Notebook - November 2016

While filled with croc facts, the book is a fictional portrayal of a real program in which Costa Rican schoolchildren raised American crocodiles in their classroom. The conservation education program was designed for rural elementary students who lived near rivers. There's lots of good back matter: activities, further investigation, and more about the conservation program.

Midwest Book Review - July 2017

Alexa and the other children at her escuela in Costa Rica have a special project: they are raising American Crocodiles. She names her croc Jefe, which means "boss," because he seems to be in charge of all the other babies. Alexa brings him chicken and frogs to eat, and writes about his progress in her diary. Soon, her little hatchling is as big as a loaf of bread. He has grown into a juvenile and it is time for Alexa to say goodbye and for Jefe to return to the wild.

Outnumbered 3 to 1 - September 2016

After A While Crocodile: Alexa’s Diary written by Dr. Brady Barr & Jennifer Keats Curtis and illustrated by Susan Detwiler is full of photographs and illustrations about Alexa and the baby crocodile she is raising. Her whole class gets to study them before putting them back into the wild and this book documents that process. A fabulous book on an animal I have always had a big fascination for.

Heck of a Bunch - September 2016

The story tells of a girl named Alexa who helps raise a crocodile until it is able to be released into the wild. When reading it, kids will learn foreign words and their definitions. They will also learn statistics about crocodiles and caiman. The pictures show both colored illustrations and real photos. The book is interesting and educational.

Goodreads Reviews

My son is 5 and loves animals, especially reptiles, of any kind. So naturally he was excited to hear the story of someone close to his age that had actually helped raise one...This book is wonderful. It has plenty of pictures to illustrate the differences between species and of Alexa and Jefe. Also the book helped to incorporate some spanish into our vocabulary with some of the names of the animals being in both English and Spanish. Overall I think this is a wonderful book and helps to teach kids some fun facts abut crocodiles.

Feathered Quill Book Review - October 2016

After A While Crocodile takes on the important subject of animal conservation and looks at one way an endangered species is being saved. With a nice mix of photos and drawings, the story of Alexa and her little crocodile will draw readers into the world of conservation. At the back of the book are four pages “For Creative Minds” which offers additional information on crocodiles and conservation and is an excellent starting point for those wanting to do additional research.

Chat with Vera - October 2016

The photographs are fantastic and the information is well presented and detailed. I think this was a great project in which the children could participate and the information presented in the book will appeal to many.

The Puget Sound Council for the Review of Children's Books

A young Costa Rican girl goes to a school where they raise American crocodiles from eggs to release into the wild. This book is written in a diary format, with plenty of photographs of the girl and her crocodile as it grows, clear watercolor illustrations, occasional Spanish words tossed in, and good information about the life cycle of the crocodile. It’s all quite fascinating and will leave young readers wishing that they, too, got to raise crocodiles as part of their education.