Clovis Crawfish and Michelle Mantis

Overview

In this bayou adventure, Michelle Mantis, an ugly old critter, enters the bayou friends' territory. She is a ravenous praying mantis and is called the "cheval de diable" (devil's horse) in French. With her insatiable appetite, Michelle wants to consume everything in sight, including Clovis's friends! Clovis defends them, and the hungry insect settles for some ants, eating one after another. Her stomach full, she falls off a log onto the muddy bayou bank, but with mud on her wings, she cannot fly. Josette June ...

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Overview

In this bayou adventure, Michelle Mantis, an ugly old critter, enters the bayou friends' territory. She is a ravenous praying mantis and is called the "cheval de diable" (devil's horse) in French. With her insatiable appetite, Michelle wants to consume everything in sight, including Clovis's friends! Clovis defends them, and the hungry insect settles for some ants, eating one after another. Her stomach full, she falls off a log onto the muddy bayou bank, but with mud on her wings, she cannot fly. Josette June Bug, Christophe Cricket, and the rest of Clovis's friends were fearful of Michelle, but now Clovis rallies them to free her and send her on her way.

Although Clovis Crawfish and his bayou friends are afraid of the large, insect-devouring mantis that invades their home, they earn her gratitude by rescuing her when she gets stuck in the mud.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Fontenot takes us back to the Louisiana Bayou for another Cajun adventure with the lively anthropomorphic Clovis Crawfish and his friends. They run for cover at the arrival of Michelle Mantis, who is always hungry. Michelle promises not to eat any of them if she can just gather some ants. She gobbles so many that she falls into the mud. The others fear that she is dead, and sing a sad song in French about it. But she is simply stuck in the mud. Clovis hauls her out, but the mud is drying fast and she cannot walk or fly. With Frog's help, however, she is soon clean and bids them all, "Au revoir." Blazek provides meager contexts for the visual story: a vine, some tree roots, a dead log, and a pond, but these are props enough for the cast. Scenes are dominated by the brilliant red crawfish with expressive long feelers. There is considerable comic action among the other characters, all with very expressive faces. Ink outline and intense colors create the naturalistic illustrations. But one can't help but feel a bit sorry for the poor black ants Michelle shovels into her mouth. There is a pronunciation guide plus English translation for the French words included. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589805408
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/1/2008
  • Series: Clovis Crawfish Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 803,857
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Alice Fontenot is best known as the children's author of books on Cajun culture. She created the famous wetland characters of Clovis Crawfish and his friends more than thirty years ago. In addition to the Clovis Crawfish Series, Fontenot wrote several other children's books, including Mardi Gras in the Country and The Star Seed, both published by Pelican. Fontenot worked as a kindergarten teacher and, for thirty-five years, as a newspaperwoman. Her dedication to children and to her art earned her the 1998 Acadiana Arts Council Lifetime Achievement Award. She died in 2003 at the age of ninety-three.

Illustrator Scott Blazek is a Lutheran minister and freelance artist who has won numerous awards for his posters.

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