Thursday, January 24, 2008

Deep in the Swamp

Bateman, Donna M. 2007. DEEP IN THE SWAMP. Ill. by Brian Lies. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge. ISBN 9781570915963 [Suggested Grade Levels K–2]

Readers will be captivated by the vivid, colorful paintings as they count their way through the Okefenokee Swamp.Ten different creatures that make the swamp their home are featured, including river otters, snapping turtles, flame birds, marsh rabbits, alligators, blue herons, damselflies, bullfrogs, rat snakes, and crayfish. Lies’ illustrations are detailed and capture the lush habitat of the swamp that may be entirely foreign to many children.

Rhythmic text makes for an enjoyable read-aloud and key words are repeated and reinforced for young listeners. Each page starts off with “Deep in the swamp” and reinforces counting with a rhyming number, “Deep in the swamp, where the water lilies thrive, lived a mother alligator and her little gators five.” Bateman does a good job making the text fit the rhyme without sounding overly forced, and one can almost hear a group of first graders keeping the beat with hands and feet.

Swamp flora and fauna facts are included in end papers, with details about each creature and habitat of the swamp.

Discuss habitats and let readers draw a swamp habitat with different animals. Encourage listeners to keep the beat as the story is read.

Counting books featuring animals:
Blackstone, Stella. COUNTING COCKATOOS. ISBN 190523631X
Giogas, Valarie. IN MY BACKYARD. ISBN 978977742318
Ward, Jennifer. WAY UP IN THE ARTIC. ISBN 9780873589284

By Tammy Korns

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