EVERGLADES tells the story of this living kaleidoscope of color and beauty: from its creation as a blue-green sea through its evolution to a miraculous river, the home of egrets, orchids, and alligators. Favorite nature writer Jean Craighead George spins a mesmerizing tale about the birth and imminent destruction of the Florida Everglades, while Wendell Minor captures its lush beauty with powerful paintings.
From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5 An Indian storyteller poles five children through the Everglades in his dugout, and in language as lush as the land of which he speaks, he tells them the story of the river of grass. He speaks with reverence, beginning eons ago, when there was only the sun and the sea, taking the story through the formation of land rich with lakes and rivers. His words, brimming with metaphor and simile, describe an abundant web of plant and animal life, thriving in 'a living kaleidoscope of color and beauty.' Minor's paintings, alive with color and detail, open a panoramic door into this idyllic past. The storyteller continues, describing the various peoples who passed through or lived gracefully in this place. So, the children wonder as they look around them, what happened to all that you describe? Now his statements are stark as he describes how hunters, collectors, and finally developers pushed native species to the brink of extinction, or beyond. The listening children soberly ask for a happier tale and their guide describes a future in which they are in control. The story and the art create a mystical tale that flows from a serene start to a powerful conclusion. This is a plea for conservation and a story eloquently told.
From Dr. Judy Rowen Children's Literature
A story teller teaches five children how the Everglades formed, what plants and animals thrived there, and how man's encroachment is threatening to destroy this 'river of grass.' The children are unhappy with the sad ending to his tale, but realize that it is their responsibility to change this by protecting the Everglades. Luminous paintings capture the setting perfectly.
From Debra Briatico Children's Literature
In this evocative tale, five children travel through the Florida Everglades by canoe, listening to a well-informed guide describe the evolution of landscape around them. Illustrated with majestic, full-page paintings, this exquisite book celebrates the beauty of the Everglades before humans damaged the ecosystem and encourages readers to restore this endangered environment.
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