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Study Guide for The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl

written by: Andrea Coventry • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 1/20/2012

Roald Dahl is a beloved children's author who wrote numerous books over his career. One of his shortest stand-alone books is The Enormous Crocodile. Keep track of the various characters and events by referring to this study guide.

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    This Roald Dahl Enormous Crocodile study guide is going to help keep track of the various characters and major events of this beloved children's tale. Here, find the order of events and major characters of the book.

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    Basic Plot

    The Enormous Crocodile lives in "the biggest brownest muddiest river in Africa" and has an insatiable appetite for young children. He thinks they are scrumdiddlyumptious in their thickness and juiciness, and should be devoured in one giant gulp. The other animals around him, however, are inclined to disagree.

    He sets off on a quest to find some of these savory delights, but not with the well wishes of the other animals. In fact, they wish horrible things on him, as he moves along the riverside, plotting his "secret plans and clever tricks" for capturing children.

    The Enormous Crocodile attempts and fails at numerous attempts to capture and eat the fat, juicy children, mostly because of the interference of other animals along the way. And finally, he meets his own demise.

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    The Four Secret Plans and Clever Tricks

    The Enormous Crocodile tries four different versions of secret plans and clever tricks, to try to snag a young, juicy child to eat.

    1. Coconut Tree: The children love to climb coconut trees. He gathers coconuts and branches from the ground, to pretend to be a tree, up which they can climb.
    2. Seesaw: The Enormous Crocodile ventures to a playground for children, where he balances across a log, to pretend to be a seesaw.
    3. Merry-go-round: The Enormous Crocodile jumps onto a merry-go-round, and poses as one of the seats.
    4. Picnic Bench: The Enormous Crocodile goes to the park and pretends to be a bench at one of the picnic tables.
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    Major Characters

    In this story, there are six major characters, who are all animals. While numerous children are involved, only two of them are actually given names.

    • Enormous Crocodile - He is the main character of the story. He is a crocodile, living in a river in Africa, who has a craving for children. He goes along the river and into the jungle on a quest to obtain a juicy child for his meal, by using secret plans and clever tricks.
    • Notsobig Crocodile - This crocodile lives in the river with Enormous Crocodile. He gets his name by being the smaller of the two. He finds children to be bitter, and has little faith in Enormous Crocodile's evil plan.
    • Humpy-Rumpy the Hippopotamus - He knows that the Enormous Crocodile is up to no good, and manages to foil the coconut tree plot.
    • Trunky the Elephant - Enormous Crocodile bites him on the leg to get his attention, and to share his nasty plan. Trunky the Elephant becomes the hero of the story, after the picnic bench incident.
    • Muggle-Wump the Monkey - Muggle-Wump tries to offer Enormous Crocodile nuts, in lieu of chasing children, but to no avail. He manages to foil the playground incident with the seesaw.
    • Roly-Poly Bird - After offering berries to the Enormous Crocodile, he loses feathers when Enormous Crocodile tries to bite him during an escape. He later foils the merry-go-round plot.
    • Toto and Mary - These two children are the only children who are actually named in the entire book. They are a brother and sister who almost succumb to the coconut tree trick.
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    This is a great book so please go read the story for yourself! This study guide is just meant to reinforce comprehension of the story.

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