Daffodil, Crocodile – Emily Jenkins

Daffodil has two sisters, Rose and Violet. The three of them look exactly the same, down to the clothing they wear. Everyone calls them a sweet bouquet of flowers, but no one can tell them apart. Daffodil wants to be appreciated for her own individuality.

In school, when Daffodil raises her hand to say something, her teacher invariably calls her by one of her sisters’ names instead of her own. By the time the teacher has corrected her mistake, Daffodil has forgotten what she wanted to say. Her classmates get her confused with her sisters too.

Mommy was taking an art class and created a crocodile mask. Rose and Violet thought it was too scary, but Daffodil loved it and put it on. It was so different from being a flower. She ran around making loud crocodile noises and frightening her sisters. She wore the head all afternoon and imagined she was having all sorts of wonderful adventures. In fact, when Rose and Violet had a tea party, Daffodil pretended to eat all the guests.

Dinnertime came, and Mommy asked the crocodile to go away and give Daffodil back, but the crocodile said he ate Daffodil. Then he made a huge mess of his dinner plate and stuck green beans up his nose. Rose and Violet were horrified.

The next day, the crocodile went to school and did everything he’d ever wanted to do but couldn’t when he was a nice, quiet little girl. When he got home, he took a bath and splashed in the water, but the moisture made the mask fall apart and Mommy said Daffodil would have to take it off. “I’m still not a flower,” Daffodil announced, and Mommy understood that Daffodil just needed to be herself.

(This book was published in 2007 by Douglas and McIntyre and was illustrated by Tomek Bogacki.)

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