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ROCCO The Crocodile Who Picked Up Rocks Twice His Size And Didn’t Know What To Do With Them

Tony Palladino

Michael Lepore Art Direction & Design Justin Oldeman Illustration Tony Palladino Story

ROCCO The Crocodile Who Picked Up Rocks Twice His Size And Didn’t Know What To Do With Them

Tony Palladino


There once was a crocodile called Rocco. On the day he was born his parents gave him a gift of a beautiful rock. “Take good care of this rock son,” they said, “ It’s been in our family for years. It comes from that rock tower over there and the tower will be yours when you come up with an idea that sets you on your way.”


Rocco grew very fond of his rock and took it with him wherever he went. He was always finding new ways to show it off to his friends. In fact his fabulous rock was admired by many.



However after a while his rock became quite a problem. It seem to get heavier and heavier and became difficult to carry around. One sunny day Rocco was on his way to the other side of a very big pond when he had a scary thought.


“What if my rock is too heavy and I can’t reach the other side?” But being a brave crocodile at heart Rocco decided to give it a try. He held on to his rock for dear life and he slowly swam to the other shore.


“That’s it! That’s enough! If I’m going to try that again I’m going to need some help!”

He asked some giraffes who were passing by but they had their heads in the clouds.

He asked some hippopotami but their feet were stuck in the mud.

He asked an army of ants who were on their way to work but they had rocks of their own to carry. 8


Feeling that he needed a break one very warm day, he carefully put his rock down and tiptoed into the pond.


But after a while thoughts of his rock invaded his peace of mind and Rocco began to miss it.


As he glided back onto the sandy beach he spied a very pretty little frog. He invited her to come closer and check out his rock. “ Would you like to spend the afternoon with me?” he asked politely. “Doing what?” she answered dubiously.


“Well I’m not quite sure yet,” croaked Rocco, “but I’m sure between the two of us we could figure something out, don’t you think?” “ Sure,” replied Lola, “I bet we will come up with a fun idea.” Rocco and Lola had a fun time that day taking Rocco’s mind off his rock.


The next day she found him sitting on top of his rock. He was down in the dumps. “ What’s the matter with you?” she asked. “I feel like my rock has really slowed me down and I’m so tired I just can’t even begin to think about a really good idea that will set me on my way.” “ Oh Rocco don’t worry. It will come to you.” “ Well that’s easy for you to say,” said Rocco, “A good idea is not your responsibility, it’s mine.” 14


“Hmmmmmmmm…” said Lola in a quiet little voice.


“Hmmmmmmmm…” said Rocco jumping down from his rock. Their eyes met; they nodded at the same time both grinning from ear to ear.



“Bridges!” 19

Rocco The Crocodile  

Children's Book