This story is one of my kids' favorites. I'll admit, the first time I picked it up, I was a bit suspicious at the book's heft (48 pages for a tired parent at bedtime when it's the third book to read...well, you'll probably understand). However, once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. The kids roared with laughter at the text, and the illustrations were things of beauty in and of themselves (you are able to read Lyle's palette of emotions with each new picture). Lyle is the well-loved crocodile on 88th Street, but Mr. Gumps and Loretta, the cat, do NOT cotton to him at all. In fact, without even trying, Lyle sends Loretta into fits. On one tragic day, Lyle goes shopping downtown in Mr. Gumps' store, and causes a ruckus (by singing and dancing with his former owner, who happens to work at the store as well); the shoppers are happily sidtracted from the pajama sale, and Mr. Gumps alerts the police. Lyle is quickly transported to the zoo, while his former owner is fired from his job at the store. Lyle is despondent over the fact that he is to be relegated to live with the other crocodiles; he tries to warm up to them, but they are so...well, crocodilic. He's soon set free by his former owner (who had then taken a job as a zoo custodian), and on his way back to 88th Street, sees that mean Mr. Gumps' apartment is on fire. Lyle rushes in, rescues Gumps and Loretta, and is proclaimed the hero of the day. Great book; pick it up and read it to your kids today!