Who will the gator have for lunch today? While the book starts off calmly, it offers a bit of suspense and picks up intensity as the gator comes out of hiding in search of its lunch. Throughout the story, kids also get a chance to learn about the different animals and plants of the swamp, experiencing through descriptions, realistic animations, and animated animals. While the story and descriptions are simple and have a sequence akin to popular rhymes such as “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly,” it serves as the perfect introduction to life on the swamp.
- Read to Me option
- Highlighted words
- Realistic illustrations
- Fun game at end of story
All of the illustrations and animations in the book were designed to realistically portray the animals of the swamp. The tone of the narration also captures the feeling of calm that exists when you visit a swamp. Unfortunately, the pace of the story and its response to taps and swipes seems to have the same feelings. Kids will enjoy interacting with animals, but may become restless if they have to wait for a page to turn or cannot skip ahead to a new page before the narrator finishes reading the current page.
Along with designing the illustrations and animations to realistically portray the animals of the swamp, the end of the book features more in-depth descriptions. These descriptions are narrated in the “Read to Me” option as well, making it easy for kids to learn more about some of the new animals they discovered as they read the story. If they want, they can also learn a little bit more about the author, illustrator, and developer at the end.
While the story itself is packed full of information, it may not hold kids’ interest at first. However, when the gator comes out of hiding, kids will find themselves engaged in trying to figure out what animal the gator will choose to have for lunch and even deciding whether that animal gets eaten or gets to live to see another day. A fun game that allows kids to race to keep animals away from the gator ends the story, helping make it even more entertaining.
The story itself may appear a little long for a traditional picture book, however, its length only adds more information. It focuses more on providing a realistic interpretation of life in the swamp rather than providing kids with a lot of high-quality interactive animations and games, which may make some parents and kids feel like it lacks a little of the pizzazz found in many books at the same price.
Read to Me and Read to Myself options give kids the chance to determine how they experience the story. What they can’t control in the Read to Me option is the speed of the story, which is slow enough for kids to see and understand the words, but may be just a tad too slow. It’s also a long story, which means some kids may not last to the end. If they do, they may not be interested in reading the animal descriptions, as well as the profiles of the author, illustrator, and developer found at the end. Thankfully, they can always go back to them later.
Travel down to the swamp and learn about the different plants and animals within, all while waiting for the hiding gator to appear. Don't let the calmness of the narration fool you - kids will still find the story exciting, especially at the end when they get to find out what the gator has for lunch.