In celebration of LSUP’s 80th anniversary the staff selected 80 of our most memorable titles. Adding to our “Around the Press in 80 Books” blog series, Assistant Marketing Manager Kate Barton writes about Swamper: Letters from a Louisiana Swamp Rabbit.
When I was growing up, my friends who lived down the street had a bunny. If you had asked me back then what the habitat for a rabbit was, I probably would have said that they lived under the sofa, which is where my friend’s rabbit spent most of its pampered life as it enjoyed lazy afternoons in the air-conditioned house. But after reading Amy Griffin Ouchley’s Swamper: Letters from a Louisiana Swamp Rabbit, I realized that some rabbits live far more exciting lives than I would have imagined.
The friendly letters from Swamper the swamp rabbit allow young readers to get a first-hand account of how he lives in a way that is more organic than traditional biology texts. It’s as if a friend is sharing stories with you. Just as you might find in letter exchanges among people, Swamper shares stories about the events in his life. He talks about moving into his new “home,” a hollow log of a cypress tree that fell after a storm. He also teaches readers about the ecosystem of the swamp and how the animals and plants all play a role. He comes across many other creatures, from insects like spiders, butterflies, and beetles, to animals like birds, alligators, and foxes. I was surprised to discover how clever rabbits are too. When trying to elude a fox, Swamper used his fur as a camouflage, ran back over his own tracks to confuse the fox, and even jumped in the water to get away. I would never have expected rabbits to be such good swimmers.
The vivid pictures and beautiful line drawings are a great way to introduce readers to all of Swamper’s friends and foes who live in the swamp. It was fun getting to know more about this adventurous rabbit through Swamper’s letters.
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