Under the algae that carpets the swamp, near the duck who paddles in
ooze, close to the turtle who takes a snooze . . . hides a gator! Still
as a log, only his watchful eyes can be seen. But when gator moves, he
really moves! What happens to the duck, the turtle, the egret, the deer,
and the many other critters of the swamp when gator makes his move?
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?” . . . 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.