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Swamp Song

Swamp Song
Written by Helen Ketteman,
Illustrated by Ponder Goembel

Ages 5-9
Marshal Cavendish
ISBN: 978-0761455639

“When Gator starts tappin' his toes, all the swamp animals sing to his beat. For ages 5-9.”
— from the Publisher

“Old Man Gator begins this story in rhyme by tapping his toes "down in the swamp where the cypress grows." He is soon joined by Ibis, who flaps her wings at the water's edge. Moorhen calls to her chicks, and Wood Stork is "clackin' her bill/and puffin' her chest" as she leaves her nest... Each animal musician wears just enough clothing to establish an attitudeŚlike Woodpecker's black leather vest and chain necklace or Squirrel's cowboy hat and fringed vest. Children will be tapping their toes with Old Man Gator and creating their own cacophony of swamp sounds as they learn about the inhabitants of this habitat.”
— School Library Journal

“...Swamp flora in Goembel's acrylic wash and colored ink lines aptly frame center stage, where jazzily dressed fauna engage in combinations of sounds and moves. Each double-page spread introduces a new animal-aerial creatures such as the ibis and the wood stork, land animals such as the black bear and the pygmy rattler and water creatures such as the bullfrog and the river otter-making for a comfortable mix of the familiar and unfamiliar. Ketteman sets a you-can't-help-but-chant-it verse pattern that incorporates a different onomatopoeic sound for each animal, from the dragonfly's "whir, whirr, whirrity-whirr" to the fox squirrel's "chit, chee, chittety-chee." These set the stage for a musical jamboree in which all 13 animals complete this satisfying presentation, performing their signature moves and tones one at a time, handing off the final “TIP, TAP, TAP” to Old Man Gator. Oh, yeah.”
— Kirkus Reviews

Ponder this:
“While Illustrating this book, I imagined each animal
as a human member of a swamp community
adding thier piece to the music.”
— Ponder Goembel

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