Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear!

Overview

""Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear! is an adaptation of the Appalachian folktale 'Sody Sallyraytus' (pronounced soh-dee sall-eeh-ray-tuss), which means baking soda. In the South, we love buttery biscuits. Maw Maw's biscuits are the 'drop' kind, which are easiest for kids to make. Gobble them up . . . just like that!"
-Dianne de Las Casas

A lyrical escapade from beginning to end, this book features a cast of funny characters on a mission to procure the precious sody sallyraytus (baking soda) for Maw Maw so that ...

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Overview

""Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear! is an adaptation of the Appalachian folktale 'Sody Sallyraytus' (pronounced soh-dee sall-eeh-ray-tuss), which means baking soda. In the South, we love buttery biscuits. Maw Maw's biscuits are the 'drop' kind, which are easiest for kids to make. Gobble them up . . . just like that!"
-Dianne de Las Casas

A lyrical escapade from beginning to end, this book features a cast of funny characters on a mission to procure the precious sody sallyraytus (baking soda) for Maw Maw so that she can bake buttery biscuits. Who knew it would prove to be such a dangerous pursuit? Why, Maw Maw did! She warns her family to beware of the big bad bear. Unfortunately, everyone, including Maw Maw herself, falls prey to the bear under the bridge. It's up to Squirrel, the unlikeliest of heroes, to save the day. In the end, Maw Maw gets her sody sallyraytus and the family is rewarded with a big batch of beautiful, buttery biscuits. Bake your own buttery biscuits from the recipe included in the book. Then gobble up this tasty tale, just like that!

Dianne de Las Casas is an award-winning author, storyteller, and recording artist. Her work has earned rave reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus. She performs worldwide at schools, conferences, and special events. She loves eating buttery drop biscuits made with sody sallyraytus by her daughter, Kid Chef Eliana! The author of many picture books with Pelican, including Mama's Bayou, The House That Witchy Built, and Blue Frog: The Legend of Chocolate, de Las Casas lives with her family in the New Orleans area.

Marita Gentry is a professional artist whose artwork is displayed in galleries throughout Louisiana. Her vivid illustrations have earned her numerous awards and commissions. An accomplished teacher, she is involved in several artist-in-residence programs each year, helping schools enliven their walls with murals. She loves delicious, buttery biscuits with lots of homemade jam! This is Gentry's sixth picture book with Dianne de Las Casas. Their collaborations include The Cajun Cornbread Boy, Madame Poulet and Monsieur Roach, The Gigantic Sweet Potato, There's a Dragon in the Library, and Dinosaur Mardi Gras. Gentry lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Brenda Sowry
Sody Sallyraytus (pronounced soh-dee-sall-eeh-ray-tuss)? Never heard of it? Read this delightful adaptation of the Appalachian folktale by the same name to find out what it is. Maw Maw sends each member of her family—Beau, Belle, and Paw Paw—to the store to get some sody sallyraytus so she can bake the Southern buttery biscuits they all love. This lyrical adventure describes what happens, despite Maw Maw's warnings to beware of the big bad bear under the bridge. When no one returns home with the sody sallyraytus, Maw Maw proceeds to the store herself and ends up in the same predicament as her family. Squirrel, the family pet, is getting hungrier and hungrier while waiting for the family to return and decides to go get the sody sallyraytus herself. Squirrel's ingenuity saves the family and the precious commodity! Maw Maw bakes up a big batch of her Southern buttery biscuits for all to enjoy. The descriptive, colorful illustrations provide the whole story, enabling non-readers to "read" the story on their own. Want to make a batch of the Southern buttery biscuits with your children using sody sallyraytus? You can—the recipe is included in the back of the book! Activities related to the story can be found at: http://diannedelascasas.com/beware-beware-of-the-big-bad-bear. Reviewer: Brenda Sowry
Kirkus Reviews
The classic Appalachian folktale "Sody Sallyraytus" loses its flavor in this retelling. This cumulative tale has long been a favorite of storytellers who savored the dialect of Richard Chase's version in Grandfather Tales (1948). A family in need of sody sallyraytus, or baking soda, for biscuits is done in by a hungry bear and saved by their pet squirrel. Paw Paw, brother, sister and finally Maw Maw each, in turn, head off to the store and on their return, run afoul of a very hungry bear under a bridge. Finally, the squirrel saves them and the baking soda. Chase included a tailor-made refrain that demands audience participation. De Las Casas' version is unfortunately too wordy, and her refrain doesn't scan comfortably. Putting a "big bad bear" in the title and repeating the phrase on almost every page unnecessarily adds a scary element and elevates the bear in importance over the squirrel. Gentry's watercolor illustrations are too washed-out to have any visual impact. Her bear, oddly blue, would be a better fit in a version of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff." A recipe for buttery biscuits is included. Readers would be advised to look elsewhere for more entertaining editions. (Picture book/folk tale. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781455616909
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/14/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 974,061
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Marita Gentry is a professional artist whose artwork is featured in galleries throughout Louisiana. A recipient of numerous awards and commissions and an accomplished teacher, she is involved in several artist-in-residence programs each year. Gentry's other titles with Pelican include Beware, Beware of the Big Bad Bear!, Madame Poulet and Monsieur Roach, The Cajun Cornbread Boy, The Gigantic Sweet Potato, There's a Dragon in the Library, and Dinosaur Mardi Gras.

Dianne de Las Casas is an award-winning author, storyteller, recording artist, and founder of the celebrated November Is Picture Book Month initiative. She hunts and pecks a good story everywhere she goes. Her work has earned rave reviews from School Library Journal, Booklist, and Kirkus. She performs worldwide at schools, conferences, and special events and is the author of many picture books with Pelican, including Mama's Bayou, The House That Witchy Built, and Blue Frog: The Legend of Chocolate. She lives with her family in Harvey, Louisiana.

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