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Deep in the Swamp
Deep in the Swamp
By author: Donna M. Bateman   Illustrated by: Brian Lies
Product Code: 
Binding Information: Hardback 
3  - 6
Grade Highest: 
Grade Lowest: 
In Stock
Price: $16.95
Count from 1 otter pup to 10 baby crayfish as readers learn about the special relationships of baby and mom mammals, reptiles, birds, and insects that make their home in the Okefenokee Swamp.

A helpful guide to swamp flora and fauna is included.

Modeled after the song "Over in the Meadow" by Olive A. Wadsworth.

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  • The Baseball Counting Book
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  • Also Available As:
    Binding Information: Paperback 
    ISBN: 978-1-57091-597-0
    Availability: In Stock
    Price: $7.95

  • IRA/CBC Children's Choices
  • SIBA Book Award

  • Reviews
      Kirkus Reviews, starred review - January 1, 2007
    The familiar children's counting rhyme "Over in the Meadow" gets a fresh face in this engaging description of the flora and fauna of the Okefenokee Swamp. Clever internal rhyme, alliteration and careful attention to scansion make this an unusually well-done adaptation. River otters splash, snapping turtles swim, flame birds (prothonotary warblers) trill, marsh rabbits snooze, alligators bask, blue herons soar, damselflies dry their wings, bullfrogs jump, rat snakes climb and crayfish scurry through double-paged acrylic paintings accurately illustrating each creature in its habitat. The last few pages describe the swamp and its inhabitants in more detail, carefully pointing out those that do not, in fact, care for their babies in real life. Delightful as a read-aloud, a counting book or an introduction to the ecosystem for young naturalists.
      Publishers Weekly - January 15, 2007
    Newcomer Bateman puts a swampy spin on a familiar riff in her ode to the Okefenokee. "Deep in the swamp, in a hollow cypress knee,/lived a mother flame bird and her little chicks Three./ 'Sweet-sweet!' trilled the mother. 'Sweet-sweet.' trilled the Three./ So they trilled loud and long in their hollow cypress knee." The predictable rhythm and realistic spreads of swamp mamas and their babies (wearing just a hint of a smile) create a soothing tone. The adapted counting rhyme highlights the flora and fauna of the cypress swamp found in southern Georgia and northern Florida. Readers come eye to eye with alligators, nocturnal marsh rabbits and blue herons in flight. Damselflies emerge from their nut-brown cocoons in a bright, blue-hued scene that offers a skyward view of the cypress canopy. Lies's (Bats at the Beach) use of reflected light creates a dramatic contrast with the shadowy swamp undergrowth. In one spread, dark clumps of cypress along a narrow waterway cast murky, olive-green reflections that play up a cloud-white sky and gold-flecked flame birds. The final third of the book contains brief descriptions and handsome spot illustrations of the animals and plants featured, illuminating terms such as neverwet plants and cypress knees ("All cypresses have... heavy roots that reach out to keep them standing firmly in the water. Knees often grow up from the roots and poke out of the water"). An attractive introduction to an exotic locale.
      School Library Journal - March 1, 2007
    This stunning book spotlights the flora and fauna of Florida’s Okefenokee Swamp, but it is applicable to most Southern swamps and bayous. The text is a version of the familiar poem "Over in the Meadow," with impeccable meter: "Deep in the swamp, in a hollow cypress knee,/Lived a mother flame bird and her little chicks Three./‘Sweet-sweet!’ trilled the mother. ‘Sweet-sweet,’ trilled the Three./So they trilled loud and long in their hollow cypress knee." Lies’s meticulous and glowing acrylic illustrations feature myriad shades of green, yellow, and blue, calling to mind an Audubon painting. Concluding pages discuss each of the featured species, accompanied by detailed illustrations and interesting facts on the animal babies. This appealing title is a perfect combination of text and art.
      Booklist - May 15, 2007
    Using the rhythm-and-rhyme scheme of the tune "Over in the Meadow," Bateman successfully introduces animals native to the Okefenokee Swamp, which straddles Georgia and Florida. Each of the first 10 double-page spreads presents a verse spotlighting a family of featured animals: river otters, turtles, flame birds, marsh rabbits, alligators, blue herons, damselflies, bullfrogs, rat snakes, and crayfish. The text frequently mentions native plants as well, in rhymes such as "Deep in the swamp, where the cattails grow straight. / Live a mother bullfrog and her little froglets Eight. . . ." The last five spreads provide paragraphs of information about the animals and plants mentioned in the main text, extending the usefulness of the book as an introduction to this distinctive ecosystem. Throughout the book, colorful acrylic paintings precisely delineate the flora and fauna of the Okefenokee. A sprightly read-aloud choice for science units on swamps.
      Library Media Connection - October 1, 2007
    This title is written in the style of the children's song "Down in the Meadow." Instead of fish, Donna Bateman uses animals from the Okefenokee Swamp. Colorful pictures and text illustrate the love between each mom and her babies. Illustrator Brian Lies's paintings beautifully capture the animals of the swamp along with their habitat. When I first looked at the book I was struck by how realistic the pictures were. I'm sure boys and girls will enjoy reading this book because of its beauty; it gives information and it is easy to read. Included is a guide to swamp flora and fauna. Who knew that the Okefenokee Swamp is so beautiful? Reading this book made me want to visit and see the sights for myself. The team of Bateman and Lies has produced a wonderful addition to every children's collection.
      Parent and Preschooler Newsletter - May 1, 2008
    Here we are in the Okenfenokee Swamp where we find a myriad of mothers and their baby critters. From flame birds to alligators, from herons to otters, we watch these creatures live their lives in the lush swamp environment. This book teaches children about families while providing merry entertainment. The paintings that illustrate the book are filled with light and the book also includes a guide to the flora and fauna of this singular, and very famous swamp.
      Librarians' Choices 2008 - May 1, 2008
    Readers will be captivated by the vivid, colorful paintings as they count their way through the Okenfenokee 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 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.