Cover image for Tales from the waterhole
Tales from the waterhole
Graham, Bob, 1942-
Personal Author:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2004.
Physical Description:
62 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
During the dry season, Morris the crocodile and his animal friends enjoy playing in and near the water hole.
Fruit salad swimsuit -- Soccer match -- Daredevil stunt -- Vacation -- Long rains party.
Reading Level:
AD 490 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.0 0.5 78026.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.5 2 Quiz: 36275 Guided reading level: K.
Format :


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X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The extraordinarily gifted illustrator and storyteller Bob Graham turns his distinctive attention to the animals of the African plains.

Morris the crocodile and his best friend, Billy, a tortoise, like nothing better than messing around down at the waterhole. After all, that's where their friends gather: zebras, hippos, giraffes, elephants, warthogs, and all the rest. In five amusing stories, Morris and company do just what kids do during a long, hot summer- perform ill-timed stunts on the diving board, get soundly beaten by a team of moms in a soccer match, or see their wildebeest friends off on vacation (also known as their annual migration). By turns wry and laugh-out-loud funny, Bob Graham's whimsical waterhole gang pays tribute to the merriment and mishaps of young friendships everywhere.

Author Notes

Author and illustrator, Bob Graham was born in 1942 in Sydney, Australia. He attended Julian Ashton Art School where he studied drawing and painting.

His first picture book Pete and Roland was published in 1981. He has written and illustrated over 25 books including "Crusher Is Coming," "Jethro Byrd," "Rose Meets Mr. Wintergarten" and "The Adventures of Charlotte and Henry."

His works have earned him numerous awards and recognition. He has won the Children's Book Council of Australia award four times, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Human Rights Award, the Smarties Book Prize and the UNICEF Bologna Illustrator of the Year award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Graham (Max) paints an African waterhole as a hive of activity, especially during a hot summer, and especially for the quirkily charming cast of animal pals in this illustrated collection of five related tales. Morris the crocodile finds no shortage of fun "mess[ing] around down at the waterhole" even if he has to look after his younger brother Little Bob or sometimes wait for his best friend Billy, a tortoise, to catch up. Whether he's rounding up a game of soccer (only to compete against a surprise team of moms) or trying to impress his first crush, Wendy Warthog, Morris approaches each lazy, hazy day with admirable gusto. Graham pulls out all his signature strengths-amusing and believable scenarios; gentle, kid-like emotional underpinnings; and some belly-laugh humor-to keep these stories on a roll. Waldo Wildebeest's description of his family's impending vacation is particularly hilarious. Readers graduating from picture books to chapter books will find this an enjoyable transition, and Graham fans will not be disappointed. Snappy ink-and-watercolor vignettes provide perfect accompaniment for the text; the array of colorful animal bathing suits alone is worth poring over the pictures again and again. Ages 4-8. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-"Here they come-puffing and grunting, towels flapping, caps flying-. The rains are over. The waterhole is full." It's summertime on the African savanna, creating a carefree opportunity for Morris the crocodile and his animal friends to play, share in community events, and challenge one another. Graham's five short stories revolve around themes of friendship and family relationships and feature vacation-time activities that will be familiar to many children. In the first chapter, Morris has a confrontation with his friend Billy the tortoise (who thinks Morris's mother looks like a fruit salad in her new bathing suit) but the two eventually make up. In succeeding tales, the moms take on the kids for a vigorous soccer match; Morris tries to impress Wendy the warthog with his skateboard stunts; and the friends sympathize with Waldo Wildebeest, who is not looking forward to a long walking vacation with his family. In the final installment, the young animals purchase new clothes to look their best for the annual celebration of the coming of the "long rains." Only Morris's couch-bound dad receives an unsympathetic portrait. Done in watercolor, pen, and ink, the cartoon illustrations colorfully depict the antics of the endearing characters. Generous white space and a large font create a bridge to longer chapter books for beginning readers. An amusing summertime romp.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.