When I think of swamp monsters I often think of Shrek. And just like Shrek, McDarkly is very loveable and makes a wonderful character in this delightful read.
In the depths of the forest in a rather stinky swamp lives McDarkly. McDarkly is incredibly proud of his swamp and loves growing flowers. But the King has other ideas for the swamp and is threatening to cover it all in concrete to build a skatepark! Can McDarkly come up with a plan to save his swamp in just ten days…
King of the Swamp is a wonderful book that is told in delightful rhyming prose that are an absolute joy to read. It tells the story of a monster and his swamp that are under threat from the King and his plans to build a skate park. McDarkly absolutely adores his swamp and he loves growing and tending to his orchids. Even though the King can not see any beauty in the murky swamp, McDarkly (and the natural world) are ultimately able to triumph, showing that beauty can sometimes be found in the most surprising of places.
Through the actions of McDarkly, the King’s daughter, and eventually even the King, readers are taught about the importance of looking after nature and letting things thrive in their natural environment. Even McDarkly is in for a surprise, as will readers, when they turn the last few pages of the book.
I love the characters that Emmett has created. Along with McDarkly - the caring swamp monster - there is a princess who is dressed in a wide-brimmed hat, carries a backpack and wears ranger clothing. The princess is a conservationist who is keen on learning and loves getting outdoors and being with nature - a great example of a character not conforming to readers usual expectations of a princess.
The book is beautifully illustrated by Ben Mantle, the pages are filled with colour and are bright and fabulous - so much so that I quite fancy a visit to McDarkly’s swamp
A great book for getting children interested in nature and gardening and it subtly highlights the importance of looking after the natural world.