The Enormous Crocodile

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The Enormous Crocodile
The Enormous Crocodile first edition.jpg
First edition
Author Roald Dahl
Illustrator Quentin Blake
Cover artist Quentin Blake
Language English
Genre Picture book, children's, short story
Publisher Jonathan Cape (London)
Publication date
November 1, 1978
Media type Print (quarto hardback, paperback)
ISBN 0-224-01579-6
OCLC 4620532
LC Class PZ7.D1515 En 1978

The Enormous Crocodile is a 1978 children's story by Roald Dahl.


The story takes place in Africa where an enormous, greedy crocodile is telling a smaller crocodile that he is going to eat children. The smaller crocodile objects, because children taste "nasty and bitter" in his opinion compared to fish, and because of what happened the last time the larger crocodile tried to eat children. The larger crocodile leaves the river anyway, and announces his intention to Humpy Rumpy the Hippopotamus, Trunky the Elephant, Muggle-Wump the Monkey and the Roly-Poly Bird. The other animals insult him and hope that he will fail and will himself be killed and eaten, after which the crocodile briefly and unsuccessfully attacks Muggle-Wump and the Roly-Poly Bird.

First, the crocodile heads into a coconut tree forest and disguises himself as a smaller coconut tree, hoping to eat two children, but is exposed by Humpy Rumpy.

Next, the crocodile heads to a children's playground outside a school and disguises himself as a see-saw, hoping to eat a whole class of children, but is exposed by Muggle-Wump.

Then, the crocodile heads to a funfair and disguises himself as a wooden crocodile on a merry-go-round, hoping to eat a young girl named Jill, but is exposed by the Roly-Poly Bird.

Lastly, the crocodile heads to the picnic place and disguises himself as a wooden four-legged bench, hoping to eat four children, but is exposed by Trunky. Following a brief confrontation, Trunky sends the crocodile to his death by swinging him round and round in the air by his tail before letting him go, sending him flying into the sky and crashing headfirst into the sun where he is incinerated.

It is in the style of a picture book in contrast to Dahl's other books, illustrated by Quentin Blake. It was first published in 1978.

Relations to Other Roald Dahl Books[edit]