Nervous Nigel

Candlewick/Templar. Jun. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781536223866.
PreS-Gr 3–With so many champions (and medals and trophies) in the family of crocodiles, no wonder Nigel is nervous. He absolutely loves the water, but the minute he thinks of competing in races, he starts to quake. His family members want to cheer him on! They create banners and chants. All of it only makes him more jittery. Only when a young frog needs a ride across the river does Nigel find his true calling, and “Nigel’s Floating Ferry and Scenic Tours” is born. His family is quick to apologize for not understanding him sooner. In comic illustration style, Christou’s Nigel is the heir apparent to Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, if Lyle had not moved to 88th Street, and the antic doings are perfect for readers just about to break out of picture books and into transitional readers. Nigel’s fears are so familiar, and his prevarications so spot-on, that few humans of any age will not be in sympathy with him.
VERDICT Children will love Nigel as the underdog of the crocodile story, even though they will never doubt that he will prevail. A necessary purchase for the good-guys-take-first-place shelves.

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