On the recommendation of a friend, I looked up books by Kristyn Crow and found Bedtime at the Swamp. The unnamed protagonist is playing in the swamp with his faithful dog when he hears a horrible crashing sound through the trees. Not wanting to be eaten by monsters (a sensible sentiment), he quickly scoots up a nearby tree with his dog in order to hide. How it plays out from there is what makes this book so fun.
Crow does an amazing job with the story. It is told in a sing-song rhythm that totally fits the Deep Southern vibe in Bedtime at the Swamp. Even without the beautiful pictures by Macky Pamintuan, the lyrical tone of the writing brings the swamp to life. I could totally picture the squishy mud and dancing fireflies based only on how they were described by Crow. She truly has a gift with words.
The illustrations by Pamintuan only enhance Crow’s soulful (the story is Deep Southern, after all) phrasing. The rich colors used in the pictures really help the reader to feel the swamp, with the pale moon gazing down on the shadowy mist of the bayou. I would love to frame some of them and hang them up as art.
Bedtime at the Swamp is a wonderful book that children of all ages should enjoy. There’s nothing truly scary in it, but there are a couple surprises. I plan to seek out more books by Crow (as well as more books illustrated by Pamintuan), as I am sure they will be similarly delightful. I have no problem recommending this book.
Release Date: July 22, 2008 (USA)
ISBNs: 0060839511 (9780060839512)