Viviane Schwarz conjures a whimsical tale of friendship and adventure that will spur little voyagers to pursue imaginative quests of their own.
Finding gold isn’t easy. In fact it’s dangerous and difficult. It requires planning. First, Crocodile and Anna practice their secret-keeping faces. Then Anna lifts Crocodile up, to be sure she’s strong enough to carry gold. Together, they draw the whole world, with an X to mark the spot. Now Anna fetches the boat, and off they sail. What will they discover? The joy of sharing a journey with a friend outshines even the longed-for gold in this fanciful story brimming with humor.
Viviane Schwarz is the author-illustrator of the acclaimed picture books There Are Cats in This Book and There Are No Cats in This Book, both of which were short-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal, as well as Is There a Dog in This Book? and The Sleepwalkers. She lives in London.
As Crocodile tries to explain it and the two make maps and do an undersea dive, the banter is as cleverly constructed as Schwarz’s layered, explosively colorful illustrations.
—The New York Times Book Review
Adventure-seeking red dress-wearing brown girl + amenable crocodile = the perfect ingredients for finding a boatload of treasure. Schwarz throws together a wild imagination, travel, and an unlikely pair of companions to create a fabulously enjoyable and visually rich picture book that will have young readers digging up their backyards and marking the perfect spots.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The amusing rapport between the two cooperative friends is as compelling as the adventure itself, proving that all pursuits are better with a good friend to join in...An unusual and captivating tale that will attract a willing audience.
—School Library Journal
Schwarz is keenly aware of the joy in planning and plotting an adventure, and the banter between her leads offers laughs throughout.
Throughout, Schwarz’s pencil, crayon, and watercolor illustrations adopt a childlike style that suggests the pals are playing pretend (rather than embarking on a fantastic journey). The pictures are at their finest in a pair of wordless spreads at the center of the book that show Anna and Crocodile diving down to a shipwreck. These rich, detailed illustrations stand in contrast with other text-heavy spreads of humorous dialogue between the friends, and they invite careful examination.
—The Horn Book
Anna’s undaunted enthusiasm and the playful, joyful celebration of imagination make this a sheer delight.
How to Find Gold is a treasure. Brown-skinned Anna and green-skinned Crocodile could not be any cuter—and the two are dropped into wonderfully rough pencil, crayon and watercolor backdrops, often quite scribbly and slightly unfinished for effect, but gorgeous, splendidly colorful and bursting with life. German-born, London-dwelling Viviane Schwarz (There Are Cats in This Book) takes a flight of fancy and soars.
—Shelf Awareness for Readers