Blog tour: ‘King of the Swamp,’ by Catherine Emmett, illustrated by Ben Mantle.

Today I’m sharing Catherine Emmett’s debut picture book, ‘King of the Swamp.’ Now it’s time for you to meet McDarkly…


McDarkly takes great pride in his swamp.  To some, it is dark and dank and smelly but to McDarkly, it’s home. He proudly plants new flowers in his garden and tends to them lovingly.  However, the arrival of the King brings some very bad news.  The King wants to build a brand new roller skate park right over the swamp!

McDarkly knows that if he wants to save his home, he’ll have to prove to the King and his men that the swamp is a beautiful place worth saving.  But he only had ten days to do it – and the arrival of some tiny green grubs doesn’t help the matter!


This is great story to share with children to teach them that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that open, wild spaces need protecting. McDarkly makes for an unlikely orchidist but his passion for transforming his dark swamp into something beautiful is contagious – it even made me want to go and check that my spider plant (the only plant I am unable to kill!) was okay.

In a time when more and more open spaces are being concreted over for housing (or roller skate parks), it’s vital that children understand the importance of preserving these places if we are to conserve our country’s biodiversity and encourage the return of rare species. I also liked that the life cycle of a caterpillar was also explored – a useful link to the school science curriculum for teachers!

Told with humour and tenderness, this is a wonderful story with nature at its heart.

Library Girl.

*Thank you for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour and sending me this title to review*


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