May 6, 2011

Chimps and Crocodiles are British Too

In addition to all the teashops near me, there’s a British emporium not too far away!

It’s got a tea room, a gift shop and a take-out bakery section. IT’S AWESOME.

I think that British candy bars are so much more entertainingly titled than American candy bars:

What the hey is a Jammie Dodger?

Check this out:

See that blue jar in the way back? Horlicks? It’s a malted before-bed milky drink thingy. I got it, tried it, liked it and then made Andrew try it. He said it tasted like milk after cereal had been in it. NOW I CAN’T DRINK IT ANYMORE BECAUSE ALL I CAN IMAGINE IS OLD CEREAL MILK. Bad husband!

And BAD crocodiles! Very, very bad.

More than anything, the Enormous Crocodile longs to eat children. If you are familiar with the dark humor and wicked wit of Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, The Witches), this will not shock or upset you.

The book tells the tale of the Enormous Crocodile as he tries to capture and eat as many children as possible by embarking on a spree of ‘clever tricks’. He fails miserably each time as he is thwarted by other jungle creatures, who are horrified by his wicked ways. It is SOOOOOO FUNNY -- my daughter thinks this story is High Entertainment.

I read this for the first time to my kiddo when she was 4. I think it’s great for kids 4-9.

Also naughty, but in a more gentle way, are Chimp and Zee:

This is a big huge picture book! And so gorgeously illustrated by UK artist/writers Catherine and Laurence Anholt:

I love the map of Jungletown:

Chimp and Zee do not listen to their Mumkey. They wander off and are mistakenly carried away on elephants. Eventually the pair do get their cheeky little selves back to their tree house home, with their irrepressible spirits well intact!

One of the most fun and unique books we own. The Anholts have a really cute website too!

There are so many fabulous British-based books for older children that I haven’t touched on – I’ll wait until the little missy gets older, but you might want to peek at this list for some great Brit reading suggestions for older kids. Have a WONDERFUL Mother’s Day weekend!


  1. I have a secret love for all things British. It happened just after taking a British lit course in college. I love all of this, even the Jammie Dodgers, whatever those are!

  2. That's too cool! As you can see, my Brit love is not so secret :) I think I need to go buy those Jammie things and give them an actual taste test, yes?

  3. Hi Julia,

    Talking about everything British, you would fancy a cuppa tea with biscuits. If you get a chance get your hands on Mcvities Digestives and PG tips.

    Miss the UK tremendously.

    1. I have PG Tipps!!! My husband and I LOVE IT!! Haven't tried the digestive biscuits.....YET. :)