Honestly, Cleo the Crocodile by Karen Treisman was shocking to me. In many ways, I wasn’t quite sure how to handle myself after I’d finished reading it. The book touches on child abuse in ways that I was not expecting and the fact that it broaches the subject at all with a young audience in mind makes this one a first for me. I’m sure there are other books out there that approach this topic, but I have not read them in this context. It both saddens and warms my heart to know that this book is out there and available to readers who may need it because it’s an important resource for those children, but it bothers me that it is a resource children may need in the first place.
I deeply appreciate this book for what it offers. The many activities scattered within the last few pages are so beneficial in my opinion and I’m exceedingly glad that the book does not simply end with the powerful story of Cleo’s. While this is certainly an emotional read and I’m not one hundred percent sure that I would give it to a child who has not suffered abuse–though, to be frank, I think there’s a possibility that it could be beneficial to all–I do see it as incredibly helpful for those who need it.
Definitely a book to pick up and consider carefully, Cleo the Crocodile is one of those amazing books that really strives to bring forth important conversation and discussion about topics that many would rather avoid. I hope this book helps a lot of kids in these unfortunate situations. I can see it helping a number of age ranges, though some only in the event that an adult is helping them through the activities and in understanding the story.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.