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An anecdotal and highly enjoyable visit with a local folk legend.

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In this debut guide, a longtime swamp master explores nature, life, and himself.

The author spent years living in the Great Okefenokee Swamp, an enormous 430,000-acre, black-water kingdom in southeastern Georgia, where he felt at home among the region’s bears, alligators, whitetail deer, and innumerable snakes. It was in the Okefenokee that he learned the ways of these and other animals and gradually became “swampwise,” attuned to the rhythms of nature and wary of the allurements of modern society and technology. This book attempts to distill the lessons of that life. Okefenokee Joe accomplishes this mainly through his empathy with the other species with whom he shared so much time and so many memories. “If the plants and creatures of the natural world could speak, each and every one of them would ask of the human race the same thing!” he writes. “Stop the waste, the destruction, and the pollution all across the earth!” The author intersperses his observations about that untamed realm with intriguing bits of his own autobiography, including his experiences working in the Okefenokee Swamp Park and his eventual decision to strike out on his own in his new persona. He traveled all over the Southeast, as he puts it, “sharing my message of our responsibility to, and the understanding of, the natural world around us,” which deserves “our utmost respect, deep love, and genuine appreciation!” And although such high aims are admirable, the book’s most memorable stretches involve the author’s anecdotes about his experiences working with the wild animals of the Okefenokee. He came to be an informal field expert on the behavior of black bears and the nature of snakes (poisonous and otherwise), among other subjects. His understanding of all these creatures was instrumental in forming what he refers to as “The Golden Rule of Nature”: “If You Don’t Need It, Leave It!”—a decree he watched all the animals just instinctively obey. The effect of these stories is the warm feeling of hearing a gifted raconteur’s best bits.

An anecdotal and highly enjoyable visit with a local folk legend.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-9973371-0-5

Page Count: 214

Publisher: Okefenokee Joe Enterprises

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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