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King of the Swamp

Book Synopsis

From a brand-new picture book duo, this is a striking and unique story perfect for little people interested in climate awareness and looking after nature.

McDarkly lives quietly all on his own, growing orchids in his dank swamp, until one day his peace is disturbed by an arrogant king who wants to turn the swamp into a roller-skate park. McDarkly has ten days to prove that the swamp isn’t damp and dark, but an enchanted world. Can he do it, or will he risk losing his home forever?

Our Review Panel says...

McDarkly lives alone in the swamp, happily tending his neat garden of orchids in peace. But then, one day, in rides the pompous and rather rude King, who wants to turn McDarkly’s peaceful (if slightly dank and dark) home into a roller skate park!

Luckily, the young princess is a botantist at heart, and manages to win the swamp a reprieve – the King and his retinue of minions will return in ten days to see the orchids bloom. McDarkly believes that with hard work, and a LOT of shovelling, he can be ready….that is, until the orchid-munching caterpillars descend!

King of the Swamp is a lovely picture book to read aloud – the lilting, rhyming text just begs to be read out loud in a sing-song voice. The watery colour scheme of the swamp has the perfect balance of dripping weeds and big-eyed critters peeping from behind reeds and logs. With a gentle happy ending, as the swamp becomes a nature reserve, the book would link well in the classroom with units on things that grow and care for the environment. Catherine Emmett’s text and Ben Mantle’s illustrations are a successful pairing and I hope to see them working together again soon.

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