In the Spice Islands, where clove and nutmeg trees grow, a girl named Damura lived long ago. Damura is a beautiful girl, as kind and lovely as the little green parrot that perches on the nutmeg tree. But Damura's stepmother and stepsister mistreat her. They force her to rise before dawn, carry out all the chores, and sleep on the floor. One day, while down by the river, Damura calls out to the creatures of the wild for help. Rising from the waters, an ancient crocodile answers the call. This unusual fairy godmother, aptly named Grandmother Crocodile, outfits Damura in a sarong of gold, with slippers to match, and sends her to the palace to dance for the prince. Once he sees her, the prince knows that she will be his bride. But the fairy tale isn't quite over. Damura's wicked stepmother and stepsister are so jealous that they push Damura into the river, where she is swallowed by a crocodile. Too bad they didn't know about Grandmother Crocodile.... The Gift of the Crocodile, a tale from the Spice Islands in Indonesia, offers a colorful and dramatic twist on the universally adored Cinderella story.
Judy Sierra is the author of many award-winning books for children including the bestsellers Antarctic Antics, illustrated by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey; Wild About Books, illustrated by Marc Brown; and The Secret Science Project that Almost Ate the School, illustrated by Stephen Gammell. Sierra holds a PhD in folklore and mythology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She has received the Children’s Choice Award from the International Reading Association, two Aesop awards from the American Folklore Society, and the E.B. White Read Aloud Prize from the Association of Booksellers for Children. She lives with her husband in Eugene, Oregon. Visit her online at JudySierra.net.