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EVERGLADES by Jean Craighead George


by Jean Craighead George & illustrated by Wendell Minor

Age Range: 5 & up

Pub Date: May 30th, 1995
ISBN: 0-06-021228-4
Publisher: HarperCollins

"I am going to tell you a story....It's a story about a river," says a storyteller to several children in a boat in this tale. This narrator describes the formation of the Everglades, the plants, animals, and people who inhabit the unique ecosystem, and its near-destruction through waste and carelessness. The listeners, a group of interracial children poling through the silver waters of the Everglades in a dugout canoe, complain, "But this is a sad story...Please tell us a happy story." He revises the ending, noting that the children grow up and run the planet differently. Full-color paintings by Minor complement the story and gracefully capture the beauty and life found in a panorama of plants and animals. A final page identifies some of the species depicted. This is every bit as didactic as John Burningham's Hey! Get Off Our Train (1990), but has powerful moments, including a convincing message, poetically told. (Picture book. 5+)