Cover image for Welcome to the river of grass
Welcome to the river of grass
Yolen, Jane.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Putnam's , 2001.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Reading Level:
AD 1030 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.5 0.5 55130.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.4 1 Quiz: 30581 Guided reading level: P.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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In the Everglades, inches deep and miles wide, mystery abounds. What may look like a smooth, silent carpet of flowing grass is actually a world teeming with life. Amid tree islands and mangrove roots are animals on the prowl. A tuft-eared bobcat gives an eerie yoooooowl, a raccoon carefully washes his food, an osprey guts a fish, and an alligator waits with shroudlike eyes for a redbelly turtle to swim too close. From creatures that fly to those that crawl, here is the cycle of life in the Everglades, presented in lilting, poetic words and lush, dramatic images. A perfect armchair tour through a surprisingly vast array of wildlife in a swampy strip unlike any other place on earth.

Author Notes

Jane Yolen was born February 11, 1939 in New York City. She received a bachelor's degree from Smith College in 1960 and a master's degree in education from the University of Massachusetts in 1976. After college, she became an editor in New York City and wrote during her lunch break. She sold her first children's book, Pirates in Petticoats, at the age of 22. Since then, she has written over 300 books for children, young adults, and adults.

Her other works include the Emperor and the Kite, Owl Moon, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight? and The Devil's Arithmetic. She has won numerous awards including the Kerlan Award, the Regina Medal, the Keene State Children's Literature Award, the Caldecott Medal, two Nebula Awards, two Christopher Medals, the World Fantasy Award, three Mythopoeic Fantasy Awards, the Golden Kite Award, the Jewish Book Award, the World Fantasy Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Association of Jewish Libraries Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. This poetically written exploration of life in the Everglades shows, in both language and illustration, the startling beauty of this region. Yolen uses imagery, repetition, and internal rhyme to evoke the somnolent pace of the Everglades throughout the day. The watercolors all but exhale humidity of the place, so good is Regan at depicting the hot wetlands. The double-page spreads capture the variety of wildlife--from otters, ospreys, storks, and panthers to all manner of insects. A subtle plea for wetland conservation informs every page, becoming direct at the book's end with an author's note about human destruction of the fragile ecosystem. Add this powerful book to Yolen and Regan's other books about the environment--among them, Welcome to the Ice House (1998). Connie Fletcher

Publisher's Weekly Review

Jane Yolen turns her eye towards the Everglades in Welcome to the River of Grass, the fourth installment of her environmentally themed collaboration with illustrator Laura Regan. From the start readers are invited into a world of rare beauty ("Welcome to the river of grass,/ running green/ from side to side,/ a river that is inches deep/ and miles wide"). Regan's marshy green and gold-tinged gouache evokes the wetlands' hazy days. ( Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 4-This river of grass, "running green/from side to side,/a river that is inches deep/and miles wide," is part of the Everglades, though it is never named in the text in this poetic introduction to some of its animal inhabitants. Lacking an explanation of the actual terrain of this region, the grassy metaphor becomes confusing with sudden shifts to water and forest views with little grass. The text covers the span of a day. Opening scenes of grassy reaches with islands of trees and deer stopping to feed in the early morning turn abruptly to a dark-as-night view of an otter in water watched by a prowling bobcat. Regan's double-page gouache paintings feature compelling portraits of some of the animals. The anhinga, barred owl, and raccoon are quite striking. A few animals are much less distinctive, and viewers will be hard-pressed to find the palmetto bugs that "like shiny brown leaves,/weave in and out of the grass." The yellow cast to sky and grass throughout the day suggests a swampy murkiness; later, the sky deepens to blue. Though less coherently developed than earlier habitat presentations by Yolen and Regan, the informal structure of the verse reads well with frequent use of rhyme, rich imagery, and occasional humor. Teachers will appreciate the concluding note on the endangered Everglades ecosystem, and children will like the animals.-Margaret Bush, Simmons College, Boston (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.