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Swamp Angel

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,037 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Swamp Angel can lasso a tornado, and drink an entire lake dry. She single-handedly defeats the fearsome bear known as Thundering Tarnation, wrestling him from the top of the Great Smoky Mountains to the bottom of a deep lake. Caldecott Medal-winning artist Paul O. Zelinsky's stunning folk-art paintings are the perfect match for the irony, exaggeration, and sheer good humor...more
Paperback, 40 pages
Published January 1st 2000 by Puffin (first published September 1st 1994)
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Lisa Vegan
I read this for the Picture Books club over at the Children's Books group, where this month’s theme is North American folk tales. This one surprised me because it is an original tale; I was expecting and I would have preferred to read a more traditional tale, although, if I’d enjoyed this story and its illustrations more than I did, I’d probably have been thrilled with a brand new tale.

My favorite things about this book were the different wood grains background of the illustrations, the last pag...more
Kathryn
There were things I liked a lot about this book. First, it's a very tall tale with a very tall girl and a very big bear. I like the "just so stories" aspect because we learn how the Smoky Mountains were named, and how Ursa Major came to be in the sky (tall tales style, of course). And some of the writing style was quite fun, in the best folksy, tall tale fashion--why, it's no wonder "stories about the Swamp Angel spring up like sunflowers along the wagon trails."

Now, I was not a big fan of the...more
Crystal Marcos
2 1/2 stars~I started with Swamp Angel, it looked interesting. I liked the cover and I have to say I wanted to like this book more than I did. The title itself is a promising title. I couldn't really get into the story. I found myself more interested in the illustrations themselves. Again, I liked the cover but once I got inside I wasn't really thrilled. I agree with Kathryn I like the tall tale aspect of the story but I didn't feel it really delivered. I also couldn't get past the tobacco and w...more
Luann
I quite enjoyed this. I read it to my library classes as part of a lesson on tall tales. It worked well in illustrating the elements of a tall tale yet was a story they hadn't already heard. Overall the students enjoyed it, especially the illustrations. This is definitely deserving of its Caldecott Honor! The attention to detail that carries from page to page throughout the story is a lot of fun. Many of my students noticed the dog that appears on nearly every page - even though he is TINY.

A ver...more
Dolly
Oct 16, 2009 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an interesting folktale, similar to the "Paula Bunyan" book I read a month or so ago. It's full of tall tales and exaggerations and is a fun story to read aloud. The illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky are funny and have an old fashioned feel.

This story was selected as one of the books for the August 2010 - North American Folktales reads at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Courtney Dyer
Swamp Angel is a Caldecott Honor book written by Anne Isaacs and illustrated by master illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky. Zelinsky, known for his beautiful oil paintings, doesn’t hold back for this Tennessee tall tale. For the illustrations, he used oil paint on a combination of cherry, maple, and birch veneers.

Swamp Angel was known for her buckskin bravery. When her town is terrorized by a large bear named Thundering Tarnation who is eating up all of their winter rations, she sets out to find the be...more
Christine
Swamp Angel is a tall-tale story with a female main character who has giant-like qualities. The setting takes place in a wooded area of Tennesse during the pioneer era. The book's illustrations ties into the setting. Each page is made to resemble grains of wood. The story is contained within outlined frames. The villagers were being attached by a huge bear. They were afraid of it and many had attempted to capture the bear so it would not hurt anymore villagers. When Swamp Angel went to help out...more
Brittani Troutman
Swamp Angel is a tall-tale story about a woman who has giant-like qualities. The giant-like woman lives in a wooded area of Tennessee. The book's illustrations ties into the setting. Each page is made to resemble grains of wood. I also really liked the humor thoughout the book. I feel this would make it more appalling

In the tale the villagers are being attached by a huge bear. Many men in the village had tried to hunt and kill the bear but the bear seemed to stay one step ahead of them. When Sw...more
louisa
Great. Oil paint on cherry, maple, or birch veneer. Sly and over-the-top at the same time with lots of great visual jokes and characterizations and wonderful writing. A female Paul Bunyan set in the woods and mountains of Tennessee. Would definitely buy for tomboy, outsized girls.
Carissa
This book was a hoot to read. It used dialect, which drew a Southern accent out of me as she wrastled with the big ol' bear. Caldecott honor? Caldecott medal, I say.
If you like this book, you may like "John Henry" by Julius Lester.
Anne Broyles
The words of SWAMP ANGEL’s tall tale about a superhuman heroine in Tennessee in the early 1800s are perfectly matched by Zelinsky’s lush, primitive-style paintings.
Angelia Dutton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paul Farbman
Mar 04, 2014 Paul Farbman rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: First - Second Graders
Recommended to Paul by: Terry Benton
This is a Caldecott Honor Book.

The story follows the tale of a larger then life, backwoods girl.

Illustrations in this book are painted on wood panels with slow-dying oil paints. Every picture is surrounded by a border. This almost reminds me of old fashioned pictures in frames. To me, this makes the story look more realistic. Out of all of the books in the technique article, I enjoyed the illustrations in this book the most. They are very beautiful and creative, yet realistic at the same time.
Katie Carson
Looking at the illustrations within the first few pages of Swamp Angel, I was making comparisons to the story of Paul Bunyan. It wasn't until I was three or four pages in that I realized I was looking more closely at the illustrations rather than the text, and decided I needed to start the reading over again.
Upon looking more closely at the text, I really appreciated the voice in the author's writing. I felt the language was very representative of "Tennessee talk" and fit very well with both th...more
Mary Walling
May 02, 2012 Mary Walling rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: ages 4 and above
Recommended to Mary by: Fire and Ice
Swamp Angel
by Anne Issacs
Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published September 1, 1994
by Dutton Children's Books
ISBN-10: 0525452710
ISBN-13: 978-0525452713
Book Source: Bought
5 Stars

Book Summary: This is an original story told in the American frontier tradition of tall tales. The Swamp Angel of the title is Angelica Longrider, who was born scarcely taller than her mother and didn’t build her first log cabin until she was a full two years old. In the tallest tale of all, Swamp Ange...more
Rachel
I was a little disappointed with this book. I mean how can you go wrong with Paul O. Zelinsky doing your illustrations (folk-art style)? Even though his paintings are great, this original tall tale, which is kind of like the Southern female version of Paul Bunyun, fell sorta flat. Angelica Longrider, aka Swamp Angel due to her rescuing some pioneers in a swamp, is pretty impressive. She uses rain clouds to stop a house fire, uses her apron to stop a flood, just to name a couple feats. She decide...more
Allison Webster
1. This book belongs in the genre of traditional literature.

2. This book is told in the tradition of a tall tale. This book is about a young woman who becomes the greatest outdoors woman who builds her first log cabin at the age of two and wrestles bears. This book is full of exaggerations and places Angelica Longrider among Paul Bunion and other greats.

3. The areas for critique is plot. This plot is fairly predictable when looked at in the context of tall tales. However, Isaacs, creates a twis...more
Colleen
a. Isaacs, Anne. 1994. SWAMP ANGEL Ill. by Paul Zelinsky. New York: Dutton Children’s Books. ISBN 0525452710

b. This traditional tale starts with the hyperbolic birth and growth of Angelica Longrider, who takes on the epithet of Swamp Angel at the age of twelve. At birth she is barely taller than her mother, and at twelve she is able to lift covered wagons and save them from a murky burial in the Tennessee swamp. When a enormous bear begins to ravage the settlement’s food storage, Swamp Angel ent...more
Ronyell
I actually heard of “Swamp Angel” when I first saw it on one of the “Weston Woods” videos. “Swamp Angel” is a Caldecott Honor Book by Anne Isaacs along with gorgeous illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky and it is about how Tennessee’s greatest woods woman, Swamp Angel, tries to outsmart a threatening black bear named Thundering Tarnation. “Swamp Angel” may have some scattering images that might be a bit irritable for some children, but it still a great read for children who love tall tales!

Seeing a...more
Ch13_megan Carlisle
Swamp Angel tells the story of Angelica Longrid who was born in Tennessee and as a newborn was "scarcely taller than her mother". She is a beloved member of her community and because of her courageous acts of rescue, she becomes known as "Swamp Angel". When the great bear "Thundering Tarnation" begins to terrorize the good people of Tennessee, Angel joins the hunt to find the bear and protect her people.

Anne Isaacs crafts an engaging folktale set in the hills of Tennessee. The place and the peo...more
Mary Harris
Citation: Swamp Angel, by Anne Isaacs. (Dutton Children’s Books, 1994). 34p. Traditional Literature.

Genre: Picture Book – Traditional Literature

Summary: Angelica Longrider born in Tennessee becomes a swamp angel by saving a stranded wagon train. This tall tale continues with her fighting a big black bear named Tarnation.

A. One of the strengths of the story is the suspense and action that is portrayed through the illustrations and interwoven throughout the story.

B. Angelica Longrider a.k.a. Swa...more
Karen
Swamp Angel is the fictional story of Angelica Longrider. Even though the narrator downplays her beginnings (She was scarcely taller than her mother when she was born and didn't build her first log cabin until she was two), it is obvious to the reader that she is special from the beginning. Many people of the town like Angelica, and she gets acquires the name Swamp Angel because she is so helpful with getting people unstuck from the swamp. The other main character is Thundering Tarnation, a huge...more
Laura
This tall tale introduces us to giantess woodswoman named Swamp Angel, a fictional Tennessee heroine who saves the villagers from a ravaging bear. She is a respectable challenger to the bear's strength, and their fight has quite an ending, forever remembered in the stars (hint: how did 'big bear' get to be the name of a constellation anyway?!). This is a wonderful read aloud, especially if the reader has some fun with dialect and all the fun expressions. Since I'm from the midwest and feel at ho...more
Rebekah
The interesting cover is what originally drew me to Swamp Angel. It reminded me a lot of Paul Bunyan. Swamp Angel tells the story of Angelica Longrid who was born in Tennessee and as a newborn was "scarcely taller than her mother". Angelica's community loves her because of her courageous acts of rescue. She becomes known as "Swamp Angel" because of these acts. When the great bear "Thundering Tarnation" begins to terrorize the good people of Tennessee, Angel joins the hunt to find the bear and pr...more
Danielle Witter
I really liked this book. It was kind of funny that the girl was so big, but she really helped out everyone.

Summary: This book is about a girl names Angelica Longrider, who was born abnormally big, and because of this she was able to do things that normal humans couldn’t do. She helped people out of a swamp and pulled their wagons out like it was nothing, she could drink up a whole lake, and when the time came, she had to wrestle a bear. This bears name was Thundering Tarnation because that’s al...more
Tameka
Title: Swamp Angel
Arthor: Anne Isaacs
Illustrator: Paul O. Zelinsky
Date of publication: 1994
Publisher: Dutton Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.
ISBN: 0-525-45271-0
Number of Pages: 34
Description/ Summary: Gr. K-2. Swamp Angle wrestles a huge bear, names Thurndering Tarnation, to help the people of Tennessee, Swamp Angel must kill the bear to save the winter supplies of the town.
Lesson: Read a- loud for younger students, and compare different Tall Tale stores. For older student...more
Kimberly Morris
Swamp Angel was a very fun book to read. The illustrations by Paul O. Zelinsky were absolutely amazing. I thought the story was quirky and very fun for children to read. It was fun to read/visualize the long fight between Angelica and the tarnation bear. I think children will absolutely love this book, because for one, the illustrations really make the story come alive.
Kathryn Brewer
This book was an adventure story focusing on the Swamp Angel and the Thundering Tarnation. The illustrations are fantastic. The Swamp Angel sets off to capture the bear destroying all the towns and raiding the food. She succeeds and becomes the town hero. In liked this book, but would probably use it only to give the children book choices when reading on their own.
Lauren Stoolfire
This story is told in the tall-tale tradition and it tells the story of Angelica Longrider (the female equivalent of Paul Bunyan) on her quest to take Thundering Tarnation’s pelt. It is set in a clear place and time on the Tennessee frontier, 1815, and in style the illustrations really represent the feel of the time period. Picturing Books calls it a stylized painterly technique done in oils, but I would add that it also reminds me of the primitive Americana style by its use of colors, clothing,...more
Haley
This is a funny book! The story ended differently than I expected but it was still enjoyable. One could easily read this book to introduce things like the real meaning of the Smoky Mountains or Montana. This would be a good anticipatory set. I would recommend it.
Picturebook-Fantasy
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