In this inventive and frequently funny book for children ages 3 - 5, writer Nick Bromley and illustrator Nicola O'Byrne put on display the challenges of dealing with a difficult person — in this case it happens to be a crocodile who intrudes on the story "The Ugly Duckling" we are reading. The crocodile is quite a scary beast, and we worry he might bite our finger or scratch our nose.

Unable to guess his next move, we are astonished to see him eat the letters of the book. The crocodile seems to like chomping on "o" and on "s." Then he eats whole words and sentences before falling asleep.

We're not going to reveal the nifty finale of Open Very Carefully: A Book With Bite because we do not want to spoil your engagement with the story. There are plenty of difficult people in the world; even children run into them — the nagging relative who always wants something more from us, the nosy neighbor who won't leave us alone, the grumpy schoolmate, the friend who has nothing good to say about anything. They are always pushing in, interrupting what we are doing, and then they won't do what we want them to do.

Difficult people can be downright scary. Perhaps the best way of dealing with them is to let them express their feelings, do what they need to do, and then watch as they move on.