Crocodile Tears

Crocodile Tears

Written and illustrated by André François

France, Robert Delpire; New York, Universe Books, 1956

10.7" x 3.5"

Kerlan Collection, Children's Literature Research Collections

University of Minnesota Libraries

Interior illustrations used with permission from Enchanted Lion Books

A contemporary of fellow New Yorker artist and Romanian émigré Saul Steinberg, the Paris-based André François (born Farkas) was a virtuoso at the drafting table, with endless comedic surprises up his sleeve. In the droll volume shown here, editions of which were published in 17 countries, he mimics the exact look of an airmail parcel for a slipcase housing a crocodile-shaped book about a crocodile. The story's tongue-in-cheek purpose is to reveal the true meaning of "crocodile tears." Maurice Sendak, Jules Feiffer, and Quentin Blake are among the picture-book artists to have been inspired by François's devil-may-care élan.

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