This exploration of the creatures of the Florida Everglades is delivered in a familiar, cumulative House-that-Jack-Built style.
The swamp scene begins with a simple bit of algae and expands bit by bit as the clever verse grows to include a bobcat, a vole, an egret up high in a nest, a grazing deer, a rumbling bullfrog and a “snake / who slithers around / past the turtle / taking a snooze / ignoring the duck / who paddles in ooze / under the algae / that carpets the swamp / where gator hides.” Gator finally reveals himself as he makes a grab for a sunfish, who scoots away just in time. Poor Gator. “Who will he have for lunch today?” The realistic illustrations have a stiff and somewhat amateurish quality, but they are appealing nonetheless, featuring deep greens and browns with accents of blue and purple. Children will enjoy spotting the alligator hiding in each page spread and learning more about the swamp and its inhabitants through the notes that follow the story.
A pleasing introduction to the swamp appropriate for individual exploration or sharing with a group or class. (author’s & illustrator’s notes, further resources) (Picture book. 3-8)