King of the Swamp

(1 customer review)


McDarkly’s muddy swamp is dank and he struggles to nurture his orchids to life. However it’s his patch. That is, until the day when a royal party intrudes demanding this ‘stinky and dark’ mess is transformed into a ‘Roller-Skate Park’. Thankfully, there’s a slight reprieve, for a Princess is one of the party. She suggests that the orchids McDarkly grows will help in her research. However, there’s a snag, for they’ve yet to flower.

Can McDarkly nurse his orchids to bloom in time, for the King institutes a ten day marker? If there are no flowers, McDarkly will lose his home. Though he works night and day, gathering, shovelling, planting and singing to his orchids, it seems McDarkly’s plans are all for naught when he spies a green grub on one of his plants. Then another…. Is the time up? Is there nothing that the King of the Swamp can do to save his swamp?

Catherine Emmett has created a lush, encouraging, rhyming story about an environmental situation in which we care. Her words lull us toward an entirely wonderful and unexpected conclusion. Thereafter, Ben Mantle’s pictures are jewel-rich, emotive and glorious. Bookwagon loves King of the Swamp and recommends it as a ‘must read’ selection to homes and schools.

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King of the Swamp

Catherine Emmett and Ben Mantle

(Simon & Schuster)

McDarkly, King of the Swamp, lives alone where he dreams of what he might do to transform his muddy home. Though he plants and nurtures orchids, only some survive. So what happens if the King and his retinue might wander into his environment? Might it be that the Princess is interested in McDarkly’s best efforts? Surely the King couldn’t put some sort of a threat over the condition of his home? What will McDarkly do?
Will it take shovelling ‘the mud till his shoulders‘ are sore? Maybe working ‘without ceasing‘? What will the result of all his efforts be after ten days? Can McDarkly transform his muddy patch into something that lives up to royal expectations? What if he spots ‘a tiny and furry, green grub‘ right at the last moment?
Catherine Emmett’s  imaginative, inspirational, rhyming text marries the tropical warmth of Ben Mantle’s pictures. We love his work such as Tom’s Magnificent Machines and Little Red Reading Hood. Bookwagon is delighted to welcome such a fulfilling and heartwarming environmental picture book to our readers. The ‘beauty and grace‘ of King of the Swamp merits a reading place at home and school.

1 review for King of the Swamp

  1. Paula Hale (verified owner)

    This is a wonderful book about looking after the environment. It shows younger readers that beauty can be found anywhere and it is important to look after it. I particularly love how gentle McDarkly is and how hard he tries to save his swamp. The relationship between him and the little girl is wonderful. I am so glad Bronnie recommended it to me.

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