Dawn Publications 2014
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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? Children will search for the gator and get a glimpse of real life in a swamp. Back material offers insight into this unique habitat and each of the featured animals. Berkes offers tips on how to engage young children actively in the topic, and Baird—who lives in Texas and has gators in her back yard—offers insights into how she created the images digitally.
"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. (author’s & illustrator’s notes, further resources) (Picture book. 3-8)" -----Kirkus Reviews, February 2014
“Here’s a fun tale that introduces young readers to concepts of camouflage and predator-prey interactions. And kids will love searching for the hidden alligator in the beautiful illustrations.”
–Annie Oxarart, Board Member, League of Environmental Educators in Florida
“What a fun book! The cumulative rhyming text brings smiles and anticipation with each page turn. Kids will search for the gator who is hiding while he waits for lunch to come near – and in the process will discover numerous other swamp critters. The detailed illustrations capture the beauty and drama of a Florida Everglades swamp. The Swamp Where Gator Hides is a great literature connection for the Florida Project Learning Tree curriculum.”
–Nancy Peterson, State Coordinator, Florida Project Learning Tree