One of my favorite picture books is The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli.
Why do I love it more than a crocodile loves watermelon? Let me count the ways.
- The main character is active, relatable, and flawed. I care about this toothy crocodile! The cover alone makes me want to be friends with him.
- This is a wonderful example of a well-executed, first person, present tense book.
- The palette is fresh and completely watermelon-y. Aside from white, the only colors used are pink, green, and black.
- The “crisis” is something nearly every kid has faced at one time or another.
- The use of onomatopoeia is strong: “Chomp!” “Slurp!” “Gulp.” “BUUUUUURRRRRRPPP!!!”
- There is a perfect “uh-oh” realization moment: “I just swallowed a seed.”
- This line is a 10 out of 10 on the funny/adorable/unexpected scale: “I don’t want to be in a fruit salad!”
- The end papers look like yummy, seed-speckled watermelon. What is more, the very edges of the book resemble a watermelon rind. Genius!
- The actual book cover is an unexpected surprise beneath the jacket.
- This book makes me want to be a better writer.