While the famous song might advise people to never smile at a crocodile, Lyle the Crocodile is a different story.
The famous literary character visited Clear Creek schools and libraries last week to promote National Library Week with the Clear Creek County Library District.
The district has done this in previous years with other characters from children’s books, but this year it was Lyle’s turn.
During his visit to Georgetown Community School on April 8, the first- and second-graders enjoyed meeting “the best crocodile ever,” as one of the students described him.
They also had fun asking him all sorts of questions. How old is he? (In his 50s.) How tall? (Maybe 6 feet tall.) How does he breathe? (His nostrils.)
Holly Grant, the library district’s programs coordinator, read “The House on East 88th Street” — which is the first in the Lyle the Crocodile series — and talked to the students all about the library’s services and upcoming activities.
This year’s summer reading theme will be “Oceans of Possibility,” she said, with students learning about pirates, mermaids, and sea creatures. She encouraged the GCS students to sign up, saying the summer’s final outing will be at Denver’s Downtown Aquarium.
She also said students could stop by their local libraries any time this month to receive a free book and cookie.
Before heading to another classroom, the students got to hug Lyle and pet Miss Honeybun, the library district’s storytime rabbit.
Chris Crouse, a library assistant for CCCLD, was really impressed with how local students engaged with Lyle, as he’s more of “a retro character.” Lyle’s first book, “The House on East 88th Street,” was published in 1962.
Second-grade teacher Tiffany Taylor said her class had a lot of fun meeting Lyle, and that having the library visit district visit the school was a good community connection.
Crouse and Grant agreed, saying it’s an important way to build that partnership between the library district and school district. It was also a way to tell local students about all the library’s services and activities, including this year’s summer reading program.
Overall, Grant and Crouse described how Lyle had a fabulous visiting Clear Creek County’s schools and libraries, and how everyone had been very welcoming to the famous crocodile.
“He’s so cute,” Grant said.
Crouse added: “He’s comfortable in his own skin.”